Flag carrier Philippine Airlines is bringing home overseas Filipino workers and other returning Filipinos using alternative gateways.
The airline came up with the decision to use other airports such as Subic, Laoag and Davao following the government’s latest policy limiting to 2,000 arriving passengers a day at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“The continuing imposition of a limit of 2,000 arriving passengers per day at the Manila airport, shared among multiple airlines, has caused the force majeure cancellation of many Manila-bound flights and resulted in major inconveniences for Filipinos stranded abroad,” said PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna.
She said PAL has been working to establish other airports as landing gateways for regular commercial flights as well as for special repatriation flights, in cooperation with national and local government officials, and local airport authorities.
On July 7, PAL flew from Dammam to Subic with 297 OFWs coming from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. A batch of Filipino seafarers and their family members from Bangladesh were also. brought to Davao via Dhaka on July 15.
Another batch of 119 OFWs from Kuala Lumpur were ferried to Laoag on July 10 while 359 others from the United Arab Emirates aboard a flight from Dubai were carried to Davao on July 17.
Villaluna also said PAL regular flight PR-685 from Doha, Qatar on Thursday also landed at Subic Bay instead of Manila as originally planned.
PAL coordinated with the concerned agencies to ensure all flight and arrival quarantine requirements are met.
“Our overseas Filipinos have urgent and essential reasons to fly home, and we are grateful that Subic, Davao and Laoag have welcomed our flights and supported the needs of these travelers.” said Dexter Lee, PAL senior vice president and chiefstrategy and planning officer.
“Our crew and our aircraft are ready to fly more people home, and when this is not possible at the main gateway because of travel restrictions or limitations, PAL is pleased to partner with government and airport authorities to make use of alternative gateways.”
“Our onboard guests can be assured that safety and health protocols are in place on each and every flight. Cabin air is refreshed constantly and cleaned effectively by HEPA filters on all our aircraft,” he added.