Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia Philippines welcomed the lifting of restriction on non-essential travel abroad by the Philippines government effective October 21, 2020. The lifting of restrictions will give a much-needed boost for the local airlines as they will be able to build passenger traffic to destinations whose governments carry out parallel easing of restrictions.
For many months these airlines have been struggling because of the travel restriction due to the COVID-19 pandemic in both domestic and international routes which resulted in the collapse of travel demand. Many flights were canceled, revenues have fallen, and many employees laid off. During the second quarter of 2020, only 800,000 passengers were able to fly by the three airlines compared to 13.5 million flown last year during the same period.
Filipinos who will travel abroad are required to submit the following:
- Confirmed roundtrip tickets
- Adequate travel and health insurance for those traveling with tourist visas
- Execution of an immigration declaration acknowledging the risks involved in traveling, and
- A negative antigen test result taken within 24 hours before departure.
On arrival at the Philippines, guidelines set by the National Task Force against COVID-19 for returning overseas Filipinos should be observed such as undergoing a swab test and the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
(Sources: The Philippine Star; Philippine Daily Inquirer; AirlineGeeks)