The aviation sector continues to take devastating blows amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With a major downturn in travel severely hitting the airlines, Philippine Airlines (PAL) was left with no choice but to cancel all of their remaining international flights from March 26 to April 14. They announced Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
PAL announced the news earlier on their Facebook page, stating that they "could no longer sustain" even a limited number of international flights due to three major reasons: (1) the travel restrictions imposed by other countries; (2) the collapse in demand for travel; and (3) staffing difficulties due to the current Luzon lockdown.
According to their statement, the last flight to depart from Manila will be PR 104 bound for San Francisco on March 25. Meanwhile, passengers from Los Angeles, Tokyo Narita, Jakarta, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are still scheduled to enter the country between March 26 to 27.
For the time being, the airline carrier will be focusing on addressing the needs of its employees. "We shall now turn our attention to the task of conserving our resources in anticipation of the recovery and caring for the needs of our PAL team members, while we keep our fleet ready for the day that we resume flying," their advisory reads.
Subsequently, they're still open to providing special flights for stranded passengers, as well as cargo flights.
Read their full statement, below.
Last Thursday, March 19, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced a suspension on the issuance of visas. This includes a ban on the "visa-free entry privileges of all foreign nationals."
As of writing, the Philippines currently has 552 confirmed COVID-19 positive patients, with 35 deaths, and 20 successful recoveries.
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