Major airline companies in the Philippines have announced its plan to resume limited domestic flights starting from Wednesday following the government’s move to ease quarantine restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised press conference on Tuesday that international commercial flights remain suspended, except for a few sweeper flights to repatriate distressed overseas Filipino workers and stranded foreign nationals.
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air and AirAsia issued advisories on Monday about their plan to resume domestic flight services after over two months suspension.
The lockdown imposed in mid-March restricted air, land and sea travel and suspended mass transportation in Metro Manila and many parts of the country after airports were shut down to avoid infection.
Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal said the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) “is ready for domestic operations.”
In an advisory on Tuesday, NAIA said Monreal “gave advice to airlines to make sure flights have the approval from the inter-agency coronavirus task force and the local government units, and to keep their passengers properly and timely informed.”
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said that Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the national action plan to combat COVID-19, issued an order on Monday night to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to allow “domestic commercial aviation.”
PAL said in an advisory that it planed to resume selected international flights this month to Asia, including to the port city of Xiamen in China, North America, Europe and the Middle East.
The Philippines now has 18,638 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 960 deaths and 3,979 recoveries.