Local airlines cancel commercial flights until May 31

local airlines cancel commercial flights until may 31 - Local airlines cancel commercial flights until May 31

PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific, Cebgo and Philippines AirAsia on Wednesday announced the extension of the suspension of their commercial flights until May 31.

The local carriers issued their advisories after the government’s decision extending the so-called “community quarantine” period in Metro Manila and other areas until the end of May.

PAL, operated by PAL Holdings, Inc., said: “We confirm that all Philippine Airlines domestic flights to or from our hubs in Manila, Cebu and Clark will remain canceled up to May 31, 2020.”

The flag carrier also said it was “evaluating the possibility of flying international routes and/or domestic routes to and from its Davao hub, in coordination with concerned government authorities.”

“We will announce any planned flights once these are finalized,” PAL added.

PAL plans to operate a reduced number of weekly flights on most domestic routes and on selected international routes by June 1. “But this will depend on the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) conditions: community quarantine restrictions, travel bans imposed by various governments and their impact on passenger demand, and above all on the public health and safety situation in each of the countries that PAL serves,” it said.

Affected PAL passengers can convert their tickets to a travel voucher. They may also rebook their tickets for free or request a refund without penalties.

Cebu Pacific, operated by Cebu Air, Inc., and its subsidiary Cebgo said its domestic and international flights remain canceled from May 16 to 31.

Philippines AirAsia, Inc. also canceled all its domestic and international flights until the end of May.

Cebu Pacific and Cebgo said affected passengers can rebook their travel tickets for free, place the full cost of their tickets in a travel fund valid for one year, or request a full refund.

“Processing of refunds will start after the Community Quarantine is lifted and regular work schedules resume. However, due to the unprecedented volume of requests for refunds, the process will take as long as three (3) to four (4) billing cycles,” Cebu Pacific said.

For its part, Philippines AirAsia said its guests with existing flight bookings made on or before 12 May 2020 with a departure date between March 23 and July 31, 2020 can select any new travel date before October 31, 2020 on the same route for an unlimited number of times without any additional cost, subject to seat availability.

Philippines AirAsia also said its guests can choose to retain the value of their tickets in the AirAsia BIG Member account for future travel with the airline to be redeemed within 730 calendar days from the issuance date.

“The travel date of the new booking can fall on any date within the published flight schedule on airasia.com,” it added.

AirAsia Group Berhad announced recently the new rules that its passengers will have to follow when flight operations resume after the government-imposed lockdown period. It said guests will be required to bring and wear their own face masks before, during and after flight. Guests without masks will be denied boarding.

PAL assured the public that all its aircraft have air filtration systems, and all its crew will be in full personal protective equipment to protect every passenger on board against viruses. Social-distancing cabin seating options as well as simplified meal or snack service will also be carried out.

Cebu Pacific passengers, as in other airlines, will also be required to wear face masks upon entry at the airport terminal and for the duration of the flight.

The budget carrier will minimize face-to-face contact between its ground staff and passengers. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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