The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) ordered the reduction of international passenger arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The order was issued amid the recent spike in daily new COVID-19 cases which had been hitting above 5,000.
In an advisory dated March 15, the CAB said that international inbound arrivals at the NAIA would be limited to a maximum of 1,500 passengers per day beginning 8 a.m. of March 18 until 8 a.m. of April 18.
“Airlines are also further advised to comply with the directives of the Bureau of Immigration on the kind of essential inbound travelers that will be allowed entry into the Philippines,” the advisory read.
“Airline operating in NAIA that will exceed the allowed capacity will be meted with the appropriate penalty pursuant to Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2021-01 dated 08 January 2021, issued by the Manila International Airport Authority, Clark International Airport Corporation, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, and the Civil Aeronautics Board,” the advisory read.
The circular also stated that “any airline whose passenger numbers will exceed the allowed number per flight as monitored by OSS (One-Stop-Shop) Repatriation Group, shall be penalized in the amount of P10, 000 per excess passenger, unless otherwise allowed by the OSS Repat Group.”
In a separate statement, flag carrier Philippine Airlines said it will operate its full international schedule for March 18 “but we will be announcing in due course any flight cancellations on other days for the rest of the period.”
“To comply with the restriction, airlines will need to cancel a number of international flights to and from Manila during the stated March 18 to April 19 period,” PAL said.
It added that the airline would comply with any directives from the BI and concerned authorities on the type of travelers that will be allowed entry into the Philippines within the stated period.
“Please note that certain passenger types will thus need to postpone their Manila-bound travels until after the stated period,” PAL said.
“Please stay posted for further updates, as we await the final announcements and information from the BI and the concerned authorities.”
“We seek your understanding as we prepare to make adjustments in our operations to comply with these latest government measures, as we support the national effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” it added. — DVM, GMA News