THE Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) welcomed its first international arrivals on Friday, June 19, 2020, since air travel was halted to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) more than two months ago.
Three Philippine Airlines (PAL) flights arrived from the US and Canada: PR 5103 from Los Angeles, PR 5105 from San Francisco and PR 5119 from Toronto.
“Among the Philippine carriers, yes. From the time the Philippine government allowed the resumption of regular/commercial flights to Mactan, PAL was the first Philippine carrier to mount such flights to Mactan,” Villaluna said.
The flight from Los Angeles was the first to arrive at 5:14 a.m. on June 19 with 295 passengers on board followed by PR flight 5119 from Toronto, which arrived at 3:48 p.m. with 184 passengers. The plane from San Francisco arrived at 6:20 p.m. carrying 268 passengers.
PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna told SunStar Cebu the arriving passengers lined up to get tested for Covid-19 through the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test, which was carried out by personnel of the Bureau of Quarantine.
After tests were carried out, Villaluna said passengers were met by hotel representatives who facilitated their land transfers to various hotels for their quarantine stay until results are released.
Villaluna noted that orderly passenger handling procedures made the arrival experience generally hassle-free.
Testing booths are located in an isolated area at the T2 Arrival Reclaim.
Swab sampling takes a maximum of five minutes, after which overseas Filipino workers, seafarers and other passengers are transferred to designated quarantine facilities by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Department of Tourism where they will wait for their test results.
Results will be available online through the Department of Health after 24 hours. (JOB)