However, budget carriers Cebu Pacific and AirAsia Philippines will not yet resume their commercial international services this month due to the low number of passengers given existing restrictions.
Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, File
NAIA to resume international operations tomorrow
Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - July 7, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 is set to accept arriving and departing international passengers tomorrow, after it was closed last March 28 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

However, budget carriers Cebu Pacific and AirAsia Philippines will not yet resume their commercial international services this month due to the low number of passengers given existing restrictions.

International operations of other airline carriers assigned to Terminal 3 – Delta Air, Qantas Airways and United Airlines – remain suspended.

Cebu Pacific said its international flights remain cancelled until July 31.

“Based on our assessment, there are still travel restrictions on both Philippine side and governments of the international destinations we fly to that keep demand weak and affect the viability of operating these flights,” Cebu Pacific spokesperson Charo Logarta-Lagamon told The STAR.

“However, we continually assess the situation and have in fact, mounted international repatriation or sweeper flights, such as from Dubai, Japan, among others,” she said.

AirAsia’s updated list of flights until July 31 also showed that there are still no international services in the airline’s pipeline.

AirAsia Philippines head of communications David de Castro said international travel restrictions continue to dampen interest to travel outside the Philippines.

“Uncertainty among travellers due to these restrictions directly affects the demand for international flights,” De Castro said.

“This is the reason why we support the Department of Tourism in its push for travel bubbles. More uniform international regulation and understanding will hopefully address any uncertainties,” he said.

De Castro said the airline is hoping to resume its international services by next month.

Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations, AirAsia Philippines has let go of 12 percent of its 2,200 employees, while Cebu Pacific is looking at reducing further its staff after laying off over 150 cabin crewmembers last March.

As of Sunday, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said there are 29 airports nationwide whose local government units have issued orders categorically supporting the resumption of commercial airport operations in their areas of jurisdiction.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Ed Monreal together with operations and security officials, including representatives from the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration, and the Bureau of Quarantine have inspected the NAIA terminals to ensure that all are set for the resumption of operations tomorrow.

Monreal said they are enforcing “no face mask, no entry at the airport,” and have instructed airline and security personnel to implement social distancing among passengers. They have also placed additional chairs at the departure area near the airline check-in counters.

He advised the public to constantly check airline websites for announcements. For further assistance, inquiries may be directed to the MIAA FB page at @MIAAGovPh or send a message to 0917-839-6242, 0918-839-6242; or call the MIAA voice hotline at 887-71-1111. Richmond Mercurio

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