TO FLY 240 stranded foreign passengers to Manila, flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) mounted recovery flights from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).
MCIA said it has been assisting more than 600 foreign passengers affected by the government-imposed travel restrictions and cancellations of domestic flights in Cebu.
Passenger service agents are assisting with hotel bookings and addressing passenger concerns while foreign embassies have been providing assistance and food packs.
On Friday, March 20, 2020, food and beverage operator SSP-Mactan Cebu Corp. (SSP) and the Office for Transportation Security also provided free food for the stranded passengers.
PAL said it mounted special sweeper flights on Thursday, March 19, on the Cebu-Manila sector to carry foreign nationals who urgently need to board international flights to their home countries from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
PAL said the final decision will depend on whether the airline, its service providers and the authorities can overcome increasing challenges including the difficulty of securing enough manpower at the airports to support these operations given quarantine restrictions, and a growing series of travel bans and restrictions imposed by various countries.
Airline companies in the Philippines have canceled all their flight operations, following the strict measures implemented by the national government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.
On Friday, March 20, PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said they also mounted a special sweeper flight from Cebu to Narita, Japan that accommodated 166 stranded Japanese passengers. (JOB)