PAL to reroute Dammam, Doha flights to Cebu

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FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines will reroute its March flights from Dammam in Saudi Arabia and Doha in Qatar to Cebu airport instead of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) due to Naia’s quarantine capacity limitations.

Edilyth Maribojoc of the corporate affairs office of Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) operator GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp., said passengers of flights rerouted to Cebu will still follow the same international arrival protocol of five-day quarantine, then swabbed on the fifth day as mandated by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF).

While the 1,500 limit mainly addresses Naia, the MCIA has been permitted 1,500 per day by the IATF since it started international operations in June 2020 in consideration of the laboratory capacity.

“However, due to the limited number of available quarantine rooms accredited by the Department of Tourism which is at about 2,000 rooms only and in consideration of the five-day quarantine protocol by the IATF, we don’t reach the 1,500 limit,” Maribojoc said.

Since February 2021, MCIA’s average daily arrivals is at 250 passengers only.

PAL said the re-routing to Cebu is necessary to avoid a full cancellation of their flight.

PR 5687 on March 26 will leave Dammam at 4:40 p.m. and arrive in Cebu at 7:30 a.m. of March 27.

PR 685 on March 26 will leave Doha at 8 p.m. and arrive in Cebu at 11 a.m. the next day.

“This new option to land in Cebu is one solution that we have worked out with airport and health authorities, so that we can serve the thousands of travelers who have urgent and essential reasons to travel home to the Philippines,” PAL said.

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific will be canceling flights from March 18 to April 18, 2021 from Manila to Narita (Tokyo) and Manila to Nagoya. (JOB)