PAL Responds to Government's Call to Ferry Stranded Passengers Amid Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon
By: Air Traveller PH Staff
Philippine Airlines (PAL) continues to operate a number of international flights in response to the Philippine government's call to provide air services to ferry out stranded OFWs, foreign nationals, and other people back to their homelands or places of work. The government has identified this need as urgent.
In a statement, PAL said, "We at Philippine Airlines will do our part to help our customers and fellow citizens during the ongoing national and global emergency. We have so far maintained most of our international flights to help foreign tourists, OFWs and other people fly to their homelands or places of work, an urgent need identified by the Philippine Government. We do so even if we are certain to incur a loss on these flights, and we are taking all necessary health and safety precautions to ensure a safe journey for the passengers and crew members on board."
The airline is also extending its full free rebooking privileges to all its passengers who were booked on any flight during the community quarantine period from March 15, and beyond up to April 30. Passengers flying on the same cabin crew of their rebooked flight will not have to worry about any applicable fare difference as this will be waived effective immediately.
Today March 19, PAL is serving certain routes to North America (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto), Guam, Australia (Sydney), Dubai, and Asia (Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo Narita, Haneda, Osaka Kansai).
The airline also mounted sweeper flights on the Cebu to Manila sector to fly foreign nationals to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in order for them to board their respective flights back to their countries.
Given the lifting of the 72-hour window hour for international flights by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in charge of addressing the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in the country, PAL will be operating limited international services for March 20 and beyond. The airline will also announce further details later on.
PAL said that final decision will depend on whether the airline, its service providers and the authorities can overcome increasing challenges, including the difficulty of securing enough manpower at the airports to support these operations given quarantine restrictions, and a growing series of travel bans and restrictions imposed by various countries.
It also ads, "We salute our crew members, along with all our personnel and those of our service partners, who show up for work in spite of COVID-19 concerns --- a display of buong pusong alaga and bayanihan spirit that we can all appreciate. We thank our customers above all for their understanding and support in this challenging time."
PAL has also been on the forefront of mounting mercy flights when the need arise and when requested by the Philippine government. Last February 25, PAL ferried around 500 seafarers from the Diamond Princess of the Sea cruise ship from Haneda to Clark where they had to undergo mandatory quarantine and medical checks.
Attribution: Cielo Villaluna, PAL Spokesperson