By: Mond Ortiz
The spread of the COVID-19 in the Philippines is aggressively advancing. Yesterday, the case count reached 52 in just a few days time. Yesterday, the President of the Philippines declared a Community Quarantine on Metro Manila in order to contain the virus and to help slow down the spread. Due to this, domestic air travel is suspended from March 15 to April 14, 2020.
The airline industry is already bleeding and a domestic air travel restriction to and from the National Capital Region may make matters worse. The airlines are already bleeding and it is bound to get much worse this time.
But things have to be done because if our government does not carry out any drastic action, things may even be worse on the long run. It is better we endure the pain now which will lead to its cure than to go on we do not know what may happen. Just like in the aviation industry, it is better to delay a flight now in order to address aircraft technical issues than to let it fly on time without knowing what may happen to it later on which may end up in some fatal situation.
As such, we are one with the airline industry, and we are optimistic that this too shall pass.
We are one with all our airline crew, employees, and workers. We were able to survive turbulent times before and we shall survive it again. It would just need all your cooperation and deeper understanding that what is being done now is for the good of everyone. Don't worry, when we get past this, the travel industry will again flourish, more traveller will fly again, the demand will rise, and you will all be back in the skies.
We also salute the heroism of all our flight crew, ground crew, airport and airline personnel for their heroism that in the face of COVID-19, you stood up to the call of duty to ensure all our passengers are still transported from point A to point B safely. Despite the risk, you all took safety precautionary measures but most of all, your bravery and dedication did shine.
At this time of pandemic, rest assured that you will all be back knowing that the situation is already being addressed. We hope and pray that airline financial institutions give the airline more payment flexibility options on financed aircraft. We hope aircraft lessors would give our airlines to breath as airplanes are grounded due to travel restrictions and the reduction of air travel demand. We hope that government and airport authorities would defer all slot and gate rental fees on airlines for the mean time that restrictions are in place.
If your airline asks you to take unpaid leaves, we hope that you take it as its for everyone's survivability. Again, its better to "delay the flight now to rectify technical problems instead of making it fly on time, posing greater risks."
We are all one in this situation and together, we will survive and be back. Let this be the start of the cure!
We are just going through turbulence, the skies ahead will be clear and smooth once again.