PHILIPPINE AIRLINES (PAL) on Tuesday said it is ready to offer nonstop flights after the government allowed the visa-free entry of returning Filipinos or “balikbayans” beginning Dec. 7.

“We are ready to do our part to serve our balikbayans and perk up the Philippine tourism industry to help sustain Filipino jobs and livelihoods,” the flag carrier said in a statement.

PAL said it has “nonstop flights” to the Philippines for travelers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and some Asian countries.

The nonstop flights are “designed for a safe travel experience that avoids connecting via other countries,” it added.

PAL also assured the public it has “strong” health and safety measures to protect its passengers.

“The flag carrier observes the highest safety standards in all phases of the travel experience. Our HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters disinfect cabin air of bacteria and viruses with 99.99% efficacy. Our cabin crew wear protective gear throughout the flight. We carry out intensive disinfection of aircraft surfaces before and after every flight,” it explained.

PAL has a testing center at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 for arriving passengers who are non-overseas Filipino workers. They will pay P4,000.

Test results will be released within 12 to 24 hours, PAL said.

“Overseas Filipino workers will be swabbed by the government testing center at the airport, free of charge,” it added.

The flag carrier also noted that foreigners with Philippine resident visas, seamen or foreign airline crew with crew visas, accredited foreign government officials or international organization officials and their dependents with diplomatic visas, and holders of special non-immigrant visas are also allowed to enter the country.

“Passengers arriving at Manila airport are required to register at least three days prior to their date of departure to arrange for the mandated COVID-19 swab test to be administered upon arrival,” PAL said. — Arjay L. Balinbin