FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Tuesday said it is studying the possibility of mounting commercial flights to Iloilo, Siargao, and Tagbilaran from its Davao hub ahead of the normal resumption of regular operations.

In a phone message, PAL Spokesperson Cielo C. Villaluna said the airline is planning to mount flights “between Davao and Iloilo, Davao and Siargao, and Davao and Tagbilaran.”

She added that the flights to and from PAL’s Davao hub may happen “soon.”

“It is still being worked on. We have to establish the numbers to define demand, then the necessary action of informing the aviation authorities,” Ms. Villaluna said.

“Davao, only because they are on GCQ (general community quarantine… GCQ to GCQ commercial flights are allowed,” she said about why Davao was chosen.

PAL, Cebu Pacific, Cebgo and Philippines AirAsia announced on May 13 the extension of the suspension of their commercial flights until May 31.

PAL, operated by PAL Holdings, Inc., said all its domestic flights to or from its hubs in Manila, Cebu and Clark would remain canceled up to May 31, 2020.

Affected PAL passengers can convert their tickets to a travel voucher. They may also rebook their tickets for free or request a refund without penalties.

PAL plans to operate a reduced number of weekly flights on most domestic routes and on selected international routes by June 1.

“But this will depend on the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) conditions: community quarantine restrictions, travel bans imposed by various governments and their impact on passenger demand, and above all on the public health and safety situation in each of the countries that PAL serves,” it said in a statement.

“PAL will continue to operate occasional special flights to repatriate stranded passengers and to transport urgent cargo such as medical equipment and supplies to help sustain critical supply chains across the Philippines and on selected international routes,” it added.

PAL assured the public that all its aircraft have air filtration systems, and all its crew will be in full personal protective equipment to protect passengers on board against viruses. Social-distancing cabin seating options as well as simplified meal or snack service will also be carried out. — Arjay L. Balinbin