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Surigao, Siargao airports remain closed; CebPac expects cancellations until February 2022

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said two local airports remained shut due to the impact of Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai), with carriers expecting flight cancellations until February 2022.

According to the latest update from the CAAP released on Monday, both the Surigao Airport and the Siargao Airport remain closed, except for government/military, emergency, cargo, and humanitarian flights.

“Most of the airports that were affected by the typhoon are still experiencing commercial power and telecommunication signal loss,” the CAAP said in an advisory released via mobile message.

“To restore communication channels, CAAP has dispatched satellite phones to the airports that will be needing them most,” it added.

CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio said that there was still no timeline as to when the commercial operations of both airports would resume, but budget carrier Cebu Pacific said this could last until February 2022.

Flights from Manila to Siargao are currently only for cargo, while return trips from Siargao to Manila are sweeper flights that would ferry tourists stranded in the island due to the storm.

“The situation continues to evolve. We expect the situation to get better over time, but for now, this is what we’re doing,” Cebu Pacific Vice President for Marketing and Customer Experience Candice Iyog said in a virtual briefing on Monday afternoon.

According to CAAP, among the airports that sustained damage but were operational were the San Vicente Airport, the Antique Airport, Bacolod-Silay Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Dumaguete Airport, Maasin Airport, and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Meanwhile, CAAP-operated airports on the path of Odette that were operational are the Busuanga Airport, the Puerto Princesa International Airport, Bicol International Airport, Caticlan Airport, the Kalibo International Airport, Roxas Airport, Bohol-Panglao International Airport, Tacloban Airport, Ormoc Airport, and Laguindingan Airport.

Also operational are the Cotabato Airport, Davao International Airport, General Santos Airport, and Butuan Airport.

Hundreds of flights have been canceled due to Odette, which left the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Saturday afternoon, after causing “total devastation” along its path. — DVM, GMA News