PAL said while its regular commercial flights are suspended, it continues to mount “cargo-only” flights to transport highly essential goods such as medical products, supplies and equipment.
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Airlines mount ‘cargo-only’ flights to transport vital goods
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - March 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and the country’s largest budget carrier Cebu Pacific are ensuring that vital cargoes are transported during the month-long community quarantine in Luzon despite the grounding of their commercial flights.

PAL said while  its regular commercial flights are suspended, it continues to mount “cargo-only” flights to transport highly essential goods such as medical products, supplies and equipment.

“Our PAL Cargo Team has been receiving numerous requests for the transport of highly essential goods, mostly medical supplies,” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said.

“We expect this demand to continue and we are committed to serve your essential cargo needs,” she said.

Villaluna said 10 cargo-only flights have been made last Wednesday and Thursday, which are on top of many other such type of flights that have been mounted earlier by PAL.

PAL last Tuesday announced that all of its remaining international flights would be suspended temporarily, starting from March 26 until April 14.

PAL said the government’s Inter-Agency Task Force implementing the intensified community quarantine has given carriers the green light to operate cargo-only flights.

Cebgo president and CEO Alex Reyes said Cebu Pacific’s ATR freighter, a passenger aircraft which was converted last year into an all-cargo use, has been continually flying even after the enhanced community quarantine took effect.

“We will continue to operate this as part of our commitment to keep vital cargo and essential goods moving throughout the country,” Reyes said.

“With the suspension of our commercial flights, we are looking at ways to support logistics and the movement of goods throughout the quarantine period—especially essential goods,” he said.

Cebu Pacific, for its part, has cancelled all its flights from March 19 to April 14 in compliance with government regulations.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has already decided to move all flights to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 starting today as it streamlines its operations and concentrate remaining flights in just one terminal.

MIAA seeks to reduce cost on utilities by closing down NAIA Terminals 2, 3 and 4.

It said a notice to airmen has been issued informing pilots around the world that only NAIA Terminal 1 will remain in operation for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine.

MIAA vowed to continue servicing sweeper flights and has designated NAIA Terminal 2 for the purpose.

CEBU PACIFIC PAL
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