Airlines to resume limited domestic flights starting June 3

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 2)— Major airline companies have announced they will resume domestic flight services starting Wednesday following the national government's move to relax COVID-19 lockdown measures in Metro Manila and other areas.

After over two months of suspension, flag carrier Philippine Airlines said it will cater to passengers flying to and from the capital region starting June 3. The airline company previously set its resumption of local flights on June 8.

Initial flights include routes to Cebu, Davao, Dumaguete, and Cagayan de Oro, according to PAL's latest advisory.

Cebu Pacific earlier announced it will also resume operations on June 3, with a limited number of domestic flights expected off Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

AirAsia said on Tuesday that they will gradually resume domestic flights on select routes starting June 5.

The company added its flights will also be temporarily moved to NAIA Terminal 3 until further notice.

“We are moving resumption date to give our guests enough time to consolidate needed travel documents,” the airline said. AirAsia over the weekend said it will also gradually resume domestic flights on select routes starting June 3. The company added its flights will also be temporarily moved to NAIA Terminal 3 until further notice.

Both PAL and Cebu Pacific have advised passengers to arrive at least three hours before their scheduled domestic flights and at least four hours for international flights to allot more time for boarding.

Cebu Pacific spokesperson Charo Logarta-Lagamon, in the government's virtual Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday, also advised guests to eat before boarding as the airline will not be serving in-flight meals for the meantime. PAL, on the other hand, said its onboard food service will be "simplified."

PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna also said that the government may require travelers to undergo testing upon arriving in local airports. However, authorities still await the guidelines that will be announced by the COVID-19 inter-agency task force.

International flights

PAL previously revealed it will likewise service international flights this month, with select routes to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Guam, Vietnam, mainland China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Japan, the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia expected in the coming days.

Cebu Pacific's international flights, however, remain suspended until June 30. AirAsia said its services will gradually increase to include international destinations by July 1.

The Transportation Department had said international travels shall prioritize returning residents, overseas workers, and diplomats, among others. Officials are also looking at reopening the international gateways at Clark, Cebu, and Davao, according to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade.

Air carriers previously announced that they are ready for the "new normal" in air travel to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Companies have assured that security protocols have been ramped up and planes will be thoroughly disinfected after each flight.

Passengers are also expected to follow enhanced safety measures such as the mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, and other protocols at the airport and in their respective flights.

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