Beginning Saturday (March 28), all airlines will operate only in one terminal of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“As more and more air carriers suspend operations due to COVID-19, the Manila International Airport Authority is streamlining its operations concentrating remaining flights in just one terminal,” MIAA general manager Eddie Monreal said in a statement Thursday.
The following airlines - Gulf Air, Korean Airlines, Asiana Airlines, China Airlines, Hong Kong Air, Eva Air, Japan Airlines, Jeju Air, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines and Royal Brunei - will be operating to and from NAIA Terminal 1 starting at 12:01 a.m. of March 28.
Oman Air stopped operations Thursday while Singapore Airlines and Royal Brunei have announced suspension of flights to and from Manila beginning Sunday (March 29).
Monreal made the announcement following a meeting with members and officials of the Airline Operators Council (AOC) and instructions from Transportation secretary Arthur Tugade to explore ways to minimize exposure of airport workers while ensuring continuous operations at the airport.
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines also announced suspension of international flight operations. It made their last flight out Wednesday (March 25) of their MNL-SFO (PR104) and MNL-LAX (PR102). Return flights of these two will be on Friday, March 27, 2020 in NAIA Terminal 1. After these arrivals, PAL will cease to operate for the meantime.
As of press time, the following local and foreign airlines have ceased international flight operations: Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Air Asia, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Qantas Airways, Turkish Airlines, Emirates Airlines, KLM, Air China, Air New Guinea, China Eastern, China Southern, Ethiopian Airlines, Jet Star Asia, Kuwait Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Saudia Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, Thai Airways, Tiger Airways, Xiamen Airlines.
The airport management earlier decided to close NAIA Terminal 4 and Terminal 2 domestic wing and Terminal 3 domestic area, after the government imposed travel restrictions on domestic flights in time of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the entire Luzon to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
As of date, landing and take off have dramatically dropped from the usual 768 flight movements per day to 50 movements as air carriers began suspending their operations after foreign governments enacted closing down of their borders to curb the spread of the dreaded coronavirus.
The MIAA’s move to streamline airport operations is a three-pronged approach to 1) support government in its ECQ efforts because less personnel will have to report for work and will be confined to their homes thereby reducing exposure to the virus; 2) reduce cost on utilities by closing down NAIA Terminals 2, 3 and 4 and, 3) afford groundhandling companies with a cheaper way of managing their logistics.
A Notice to Airmen (Notam) has also been issued informing pilots around the world that only NAIA Terminal 1 remains in operation for the duration of the ECQ.
The MIAA management assured the public that It would continue servicing sweeper flights and has designated NAIA Terminal 2 for the purpose.
Sweeper flights and repatriation flights to help foreign nationals return to their home countries are jointly undertaken by the Department of Tourism and the Department of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the embassies.
On the other hand, government repatriation efforts to bring home OFWs continue to this day.