Domestic commercial flights back
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the resumption of domestic commercial flights had been approved by Secretary Carlito Galvez, although limited to GCQ-to-GCQ areas.
Geremy Pintolo, file

Domestic commercial flights back

Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - June 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Beginning June 5, domestic flights from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will resume as Metro Manila transitions to a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the resumption of domestic commercial flights had been approved by Secretary Carlito Galvez, although limited to GCQ-to-GCQ areas. Galvez is chief implementer of the country’s coronavirus response policy.

However, Tugade stressed that the local government unit (LGU) must categorically support the resumption of domestic commercial operations in its jurisdiction.

Jim Sydioco, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) director general, also said that airlines would still have to verify and confirm with concerned authorities if their airports are allowed to resume operations.

Areas placed under GCQ starting June 1 are Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Pangasinan, Calabarzon, Albay and Davao City. The rest of the country is under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) – the lowest form of community quarantine enforced by the government.

Regular commercial air travel had been suspended in areas covered by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to help stop the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.

Major carriers have announced that they will resume domestic flight services starting this Friday.

PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the flag carrier would cater to passengers flying to and from the National Capital Region also on June 5.

In its latest advisory, PAL announced that the initial flights would include routes to Cebu, Davao, Dumaguete and Cagayan de Oro cities.

It also scheduled international flights to and from Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Honolulu, London, Guam, Vancouver, Toronto, Sydney, Singapore and Jakarta.

PAL advised its passengers to check with local authorities – both at point of origin and destination – to make sure that they would have the necessary documents. The documentary requirements vary from place to place and are often revised, it added.

PAL also reminded passengers that the government still does not allow leisure travel on domestic routes.

Cebu Pacific is resuming its domestic flights as well as special repatriation flights, which are primarily for stranded passengers and returning OFWs.

It advised passengers that flight schedules may change depending on quarantine conditions and travel restrictions.

AirAsia also moved the gradual resumption of its services in the country to tomorrow from the original schedule of June 3.

“A new resumption date is being set to give our guests enough time to consolidate needed documents for a smoother travel. This is also based on new developments following coordination with our partners in the government, including local government units,” AirAsia Philippines said.

The airline will operate flights from Manila to Cebu and Cagayan de Oro, as well as Clark to Cebu and Cagayan de Oro starting tomorrow. It intends to begin flights to Davao from Manila, Cebu and Clark by June 8, and flights to Puerto Princesa from Manila and Clark by June 11. Richmond Mercurio

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