Airlines Prepare to Resume Flights

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Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific (Cebu Pac) are ramping up preparatory efforts to restart commercial flights eventually. Such plans require plenty of safety measures to prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading in boarding processes and during flights.

Cebu Air, Inc. operated Cebu Pac announced that before being allowed to fly, all of its crew, including pilots and flight attendants, would undergo rapid antibody testing. While on the job, all operating teams such as ground and boarding staff will have to put on personal protective equipment or PPE.

The budget carried explained that “Cleaning and disinfection procedures have been ramped-up for all Cebu Pacific facilities and equipment such as self-check-in, self-service kiosks, checking-in, bag-drop counters, and shuttle vehicles. Hand sanitizers like disinfecting alcohol will be provided for all passengers and staff at the airport and inside the aircraft.”

It continued that every aircraft from Cebu Pacific will undergo comprehensive regular disinfection. In comparison, passengers would have to wear safety equipment including face masks before entering the airport and for the entire duration of the flight.

Once commercial operations are restored, Cebu Pacific will initially restart domestically with a minimal number of flights.

Philippine Airlines, owned by PAL Holdings, Inc., requires all its passengers to arrive at the airport at least four hours before international departures and three hours before departure for domestic flights to different points in the country.

PAL disclosed that “Due to the Philippine government’s extension of the Luzon island-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period, all PAL domestic and international flights are canceled up to May 15.” It continues to operate all-cargo flights carrying vital supplies to the country, such as medicines and equipment from various Asia-Pacific countries. However, it has been confirmed that PAL is gradually implementing health protocols to ensure passenger safety once business operations are resumed by May 16.

It should be noted that the government placed a temporary ban on international inbound flights, starting on May 3 to continue until May 8 at 11:59 p.m. However, in preparation for commercial operations, the Manila Airport authority is implementing various health measures soon for the impending lifting of the ECQ.

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