The premiere airlines of the country – Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific – remind passengers to prepare necessary travel documents before their flights as they may be barred from boarding if they lack the documents required by the local government. This is part of the precautionary measures taken against the coronavirus pandemic.
Who are allowed to travel?
With the current threat of coronavirus, air travel is only allowed to the following: stranded individuals, repatriated overseas Filipino workers, and those working in authorized sectors.
What are the necessary documents needed for air travel?
- Stranded individuals
According to the Philippine Airline spokesperson, Cielo Villaluna, those who were stranded because of the community lockdown which started in March must prepare a medical certificate and travel pass for them to be able to board the aircraft.
- Repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers
Those repatriated OFWs must be able to procure a quarantine certificate.
- Working in Authorized Sectors
Those who are working in authorized industries must carry along with them their company ID, employment certificate or ID from the inter-agency task force on COVID-19.
In addition to these documents, travelers must know beforehand the other requirements needed to be presented as mandated by the local government. In Cebu province, travelers are required to prepare a letter of acceptance from the local government. Other list of requirements are posted in the official website of the Philippine Airlines.
Around 20 passengers were offloaded in Cebu Pacific’s flight last June 9 because they were not able to present all the necessary documents needed. Similar incident has happened to PAL passengers as well.
What flights are currently available?
As of this writing, only two airlines have restarted their domestic flights bound to and from Manila to Davao, Cebu, Dipolog, and Cagayan de Oro. While it is important to bring back home those stranded passengers, some local governments are still hesitant to allow flights to resume in their respective areas given the current threat of coronavirus pandemic.