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PAL, CebPac, AirAsia: Only essential travelers allowed to fly amid NCR lockdowns

The country’s local airlines on Friday said that only essential travelers will be allowed to board their flights during the strict lockdown periods in the National Capital Region (NCR).

In an advisory, Philippine Airlines said during the heightened general community quarantine (GCQ), July 30 to August 5, and enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), August 6 to 20, “domestic travel to and from Manila will be limited only to essential travelers, including NCR Plus residents returning to Manila, in compliance with the air travel restrictions imposed by the authorities.”

“International and domestic flights to and from Manila shall continue operating during the ECQ and heightened GCQ periods, subject to compliance with the travel restrictions and related travel protocols,” PAL said.

The flag carrier said it may have to reduce or cancel flights on certain routes as a result of the restrictions, and “we will make the appropriate announcements on any adjustments once these are finalized. Please stay posted for any updates.”

PAL said affected passengers may opt to rebook their flights to a later date, convert their tickets to a travel voucher, or refund tickets without penalties.

Cebu Pacific, likewise, said “only essential travel will be allowed beginning today, July 30, until August 20.”

“As of this time, Cebu Pacific will continue to operate flights as scheduled until August 5, 2021,” it said.

“However, passengers who wish to postpone their domestic flights and those traveling for non-essential reasons until August 20 may cancel up to two hours before their scheduled time of departure, and may select their preferred option through the Manage Booking portal on the Cebu Pacific website,” the budget carrier said.

Cebu Pacific said affected passengers may rebook for travel within 60 days no additional cost, convert the amount of their ticket into a travel fund for two years and use it to either book a new flight or pay for add-ons.

“We?will provide updates?on CEB operations in the coming days,” it said.

AirAsia Philippines also announced that only essential travel such as Authorized Persons Outside their Residences (APOR) shall be allowed to travel into and out of the NCR plus—Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal—as mandated by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

“AirAsia likewise informs its guests from NCR Plus, Cebu, and Davao City on the “Temporary Suspension” of inbound travel to Iloilo City, Iloilo Province and Cagayan de Oro City from August 1 to 7, 2021, as mandated under Resolution No. 108 by the IATF-Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases,” it said.

“In accordance with the Department of Tourism’s directive returning flights are allowed for tourists residing in the NCR Plus,” it added.

Essential Travelers and Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) include the following:

  •     Health/emergency frontline personnel
  •     Government officials and frontline personnel
  •     Duly authorized humanitarian assistance actors
  •     Persons traveling for medical/humanitarian reasons
  •     Persons going to the airport for travel abroad
  •     Persons crossing zones for work or business permitted in the zone of destination, and going back home
  •     Returning or repatriated OFWs and other overseas Filipinos returning to their places of residence.

AirAsia said affected passengers may opt to avail of unlimited flight changes to any new travel date before August 21, 2021 on the same route for an unlimited number of times without any additional cost, subject to seat availability; or retain the value of the flight booking in their AirAsia BIG Member account for future travel to be redeemed within 730 calendar days from the issuance date.—AOL, GMA News