PHILIPPINE Airlines, Inc. (PAL) announced on Monday that it would expand its services in the Visayas and Mindanao in anticipation of increased demand during the upcoming holiday season.

The flag carrier will resume services from Iloilo to Cebu and General Santos City on Dec. 7 and from Iloilo to Davao on Dec. 8.

“The expanded route network will increase connectivity between the Visayas and Mindanao just in time for the peak holiday season, enabling more people to reunite with families in their home provinces,” PAL said in an e-mailed statement.

With various areas in the Visayas and Mindanao reopening for business and tourism, the airline anticipates that the new flights will contribute to the overall economic recovery.

“We also hope to restore more of our pre-pandemic routes and mount new services in the coming months, while strictly adhering to the latest health and safety protocols set by all local government units (LGUs) involved,” PAL Senior Assistant Vice-President for Philippine Sales Harry D. Inoferio said.

The airline said that each province, city or municipality might impose its own travel requirements, and the rules may be subject to change at short notice.

“For additional information and latest updates, passengers are encouraged to check the website of the LGU of their destination point. Additionally, they may also check,” it added.

PAL also announced on Monday that eligible travelers to the Philippines from countries or regions on the green list will now be subjected to the same quarantine and testing protocols that apply to arrivals from countries in the yellow list classification.

Travelers from yellow-listed countries are required to undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of a negative swab test that was taken on the fifth day from their arrival. They must quarantine at home until their 10th day.

The airline said the revised red list now includes South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy.

“Inbound international travel shall not be allowed for all persons, regardless of vaccination status, coming from or who have been to red-listed countries/regions within the last 14 days prior to arrival to any port of the Philippines,” PAL noted.

“Only Filipinos returning to the country via government-initiated or non-government-initiated repatriation and Bayanihan Flights may be allowed entry subject to the prevailing entry, testing, and quarantine protocols for red-listed countries,” it added. — Arjay L. Balinbin