PHL airlines extend flight suspensions

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A Cebu Pacific passenger jet taxis past a Philippine Airlines passenger jet on the tarmac of Terminal 3 at the Ninoy Aquino International aiport in Pasay city. — REUTERS

THE country’s major airlines on Friday said all domestic and international flights will remain suspended until May 15, after the government extended the lockdown measures in the National Capital Region and key areas around the country.

In separate statements, Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific and Philippines AirAsia said they will not yet resume passenger flights in view of the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) aimed at containing the coronavirus outbreak.

“All domestic and international Cebu Pacific and Cebgo flights remain cancelled from May 1 to 15, 2020. This is in line with the extension of ECQ imposed over much of Luzon, and implementation of general community quarantine (GCQ) over other provinces. Restrictions are also implemented by local governments across the Philippines,” Cebu Pacific said in its statement.

Should the ECQ be lifted by May 15, PAL said it will have a “gradual and calibrated” resumption of operations starting May 16.

“The complete list of flights to be operated once the ECQ is lifted will be released as soon as possible. In the meantime, our domestic sweeper flights and special flights — arranged by several foreign embassies to ferry stranded nationals out of the country — will continue,” PAL said.

The government has extended the ECQ, which was scheduled to end on April 30, by another two weeks in Metro Manila, Central Luzon (Region III), Calabarzon (Region IV-A — Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), as well as other provinces that continue to face high risk of coronavirus disease infections.

Other areas facing low-risk of the coronavirus will be placed under GCQ starting May 1. Under a GCQ, the government said airports and ports can continue to operate but only for goods. — AJA





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