PAL to suspend international flights starting March 26

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Tuesday announced it is temporarily suspending its international flights starting from March 26 until April 14 amid global concerns on the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In an advisory, PAL said that after careful consideration, it has decided it could no longer sustain even a limited number of international flights as more countries have imposed strict travel and entry restrictions, travel demand have collapsed, and the ongoing lockdown have made staffing its Manila airport hub difficult.

“Accordingly, our last flight to depart from Manila this week will be PR 104 bound for San Francisco at 10:10 PM on March 25. Several flights will continue to arrive in Manila on March 26 from Los Angeles, Tokyo Narita and Jakarta, and on March 27 from New York JFK, San Francisco and Los Angeles,” it said.

PAL announced earlier that all its domestic flights had been suspended as of March 17.

The company said that for now, it would focus on conserving its resources in anticipation of the recovery and caring for the needs of its employees in preparation for the resumption of its operations on April 15.

“Our firm goal is to resume operations starting 15 April 2020, if warranted by Philippine and international authorities, global public health conditions and the travel environment,” PAL said.

“We understand that this pause in operations will be an inconvenience, and we hope for your understanding as we at PAL look to the safety of our colleagues and our families as we all face this global contagion,” it added.

The company assured it will “continue to make aircraft and service personnel available for special flights to retrieve stranded passengers as well as cargo flights to keep intact critical supply chains across our islands.”

PAL also said it will try to keep its customer support network open, including its website and customer Global Reservations Hotlines at (+632) 8855-8888 (Manila) and 1-800-435-9725 (USA/Canada).

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