CAB excludes MCIA

PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific have cancelled domestic flights from Manila to Cebu on June 3 and 4, 2020 after the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) issued an advisory excluding the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) from the list of airports in the country that can accept commercial flights.

“As an update on our gradual flight restart, our Manila-Cebu-Manila flights on June 3 and 4 are cancelled, as we are in an ongoing coordination with authorities in order to ensure the smooth resumption of flights,” Cebu Pacific said in an advisory.

On the other hand, PAL said they have informed the affected passengers.

“We hope that consensus will be reached among all stakeholders so that we can soon serve the flight needs of the public,” PAL said in a statement.

The CAB, in an advisory dated June 2, said domestic commercial operations in airports within provinces, cities, or municipalities declared to be under general community quarantine (GCQ) were now allowed to resume in accordance with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and National Task Force on COVID-19 (NTF) resolutions allowing interzonal movement by air between areas under GCQ except leisure travel.

Only airports in areas under GCQ which have provincial and/or local government units categorically supporting the resumption of domestic commercial operations shall be allowed, the CAB said.

An initial list of airports that had their LGUs giving their go signal to accept commercial flights as of June 1 showed Romblon, Naga, Manila, Clark, Cauayan, Palanan, Marinduque, Laguindingan, Camiguin, Ozamiz, Dipolog, Pagadian, Jolo and General Santos.

Meanwhile, MCIA officials said they are awaiting guidelines from the IATF-EID on the testing of passengers from local commercial flights.

They plan to have the MCIA’s reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratory ready before international operations resume tentatively on June 10.

MCIA general manager Steve Dicdican told SunStar Cebu that they are finishing up the requirements for the RT-PCR lab to be functional as the airport braces to accommodate international flights.

“No one in the world can ensure that further viral infections will not happen, and we cannot make that the prerequisite for resumption of operations. At most, we can minimize the risk and assure the public that air travel will be the safest and least risky means of transport,” Dicdican said. (JOB)