Airlines told to hold off June 1 flights as PAL, Cebu Pacific announce return

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People may start traveling within, to and from country by flights once again, as a local aircraft carrier announces its schedule for next month, when restrictions ease amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 30) — The Civil Aeronautics Board on Saturday told airlines to cancel their flights set on June 1, Monday, shortly after local aircraft carriers announced their new flight schedules. 

The board said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Diseases has yet to approve domestic air travel routes.

“Consequently, airlines are hereby advised to cancel their flights on June 1, 2020 and to stop selling tickets for the said date,” the board said in a statement.

This comes after Philippine Airlines announced its resumption of international and domestic travel starting June 1, when restrictions ease amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

PAL’s overseas flights will only be available for destinations in the US, Canada, Guam, Vietnam, mainland China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Japan, the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, PAL said. It is also working on operating flights to London and Sydney, Australia, the airline added.

Cebu Pacific said it will also start flying passengers to a few destinations within the country beginning June 2, while international trips will remain suspended until June 30.

Both airlines assured that safety precautions such as disinfection, wearing of protective gear and online check-ins will be strictly followed while crew members will also take rapid antibody test before the trips.

AirAsia said it is also speaking to some local governments on airport guidelines as it mulls resuming flights next month.

The Manila International Airport Authority also released plans for airport terminals with flights expected to return.

Earlier, General Manager Ed Monreal said in a statement that Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport shall continue serving international flights, while Terminal 2 will be for evacuation and sweeper flights and for domestic flights from PAL. Terminal 3 will be for AirAsia and Cebu Pacific, while Terminal 4 stays closed.

Only 400 passengers for international inbound flights are allowed per day, MIAA said, as instructed by the IATF.

MIAA maintained that it is ready for Metro Manila to shift into general community quarantine on June 1, allowing more movement in the country.