Airlines welcome DOTr’s ‘no vax, no ride’ policy

·2 min read

AIRLINE companies in the Philippines are supporting the recent initiative of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in setting new guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals to promote safe travel amid the ongoing Omicron surge.

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines said it welcomes the “No Vaccination, No Ride” policy promulgated in the DOTr’s Department Order 2022-001 for travel to and from the National Capital Region (NCR).

“We laud the DOTr’s initiative to help the Filipino public embark on essential travels during the current crisis,” said PAL president and chief operating officer Gilbert Santa Maria. “We assure the public that PAL will do our part to uphold the strictest safety standards and health protocols in our continuing operation of our domestic and international flight network.”

“We are one with the DOTr and the Philippine air transport sector in working to sustain vital air services throughout the country, facilitating the delivery of urgent goods including life saving vaccines, and helping our overseas Filipino workers and overseas Filipinos fly to their home provinces,” said PAL Express president Bonifacio Sam.

AirAsia Philippines, on the other hand, said it will abide by the new DOTr directive.

“AirAsia Philippines considers this initiative from the DOTr as an effective tool to encourage every Filipino to take the shot, and get an added layer of protection against any emerging Covid-19 variant,” said Ricky Isla, AirAsia Philippines chief executive officer.

Starting January 17, 2022, AirAsia Philippines will continue to fly fully vaccinated guests from its Manila hub, compliant with the latest travel guidelines set by the respective local government units of their destination.

Meanwhile, non-vaccinated guests with essential purpose of travel from Metro Manila such as persons with medical conditions that prevent full Covid-19 vaccination will still be allowed to fly, provided that they present a duly signed medical certificate with name and contact details of their physician.

Likewise, persons who will provide essential goods and services as evidenced by a duly issued barangay health pass or other appropriate proof that will justify travel will also be accepted during the flight.

According to the department order, a person is considered fully vaccinated against Covid-19 two weeks after receiving their second dose in a two-dose vaccination series, such as with the Pfizer or Moderna brand of vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine such as with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

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