Local airlines seek simplified travel rules as demand picks up

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 20) — The Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) urged the government on Saturday to further simplify travel requirements as airlines see a "resurging" air travel demand.

"Currently, the Philippine airline industry is experiencing high demand for flights based on forward bookings and passenger inquiries," the group said in a statement.

ACAP is composed of Air Philippines Corporation (PAL Express), Cebgo, Inc. (Cebgo), Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific), Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL), and Philippines AirAsia Inc. (AirAsia Philippines).

However, different travel protocols implemented by local government units remain a challenge, ACAP said. The group hopes LGUs will accept vaccine cards, with or without QR codes.

ACAP also said the national government must increase the daily cap for international passenger arrivals from 4,000 to 10,000.

Passengers from "green" countries should also be excluded from the daily cap on international arrivals, it added. Travelers from "yellow" countries, on the other hand, should only be required to spend a two-day quarantine.

"These recommendations, if considered and adopted by the government, will enable travelers, especially Overseas Filipino Workers and Balikbayans who have long been wanting to return to the Philippines for Christmas, to enjoy seamless, convenient, and hassle-free travel across all touchpoints of their journey," ACAP said.

Once implemented, ACAP said these will provide a "huge boost" to the aviation and tourism industries.

"Lowered alert levels have led air carriers to ramp up international and domestic flights, subject to prevailing travel restrictions. The travel peak month of December is expected to be marked by improved passenger arrivals as airline companies restore a significant segment of their flight route network," the group said.