PAL, Cebu Pacific suspend flights between Philippines, China

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 01 2020 12:12 PM | Updated as of Feb 02 2020 10:06 PM

AirAsia temporarily halting flights, too

MANILA (4th UPDATE)—Several airlines on Sunday announced flight cancellations between the Philippines and mainland China and its territories amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines said they are suspending trips in those destinations for several weeks, beginning Sunday, Feb. 2 .

Budget carrier Cebu Pacific said it would suspend all flights between the Philippines and mainland China from Feb. 2 to March 29, 2020, including flights to and from Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

"Passengers affected by flight cancellations have been notified through the contact details provided upon booking. They may also check the status of their flights through the Manage Booking portal in the Cebu Pacific website," the Gokongwei-led airline said in a statement.

Cebu Pacific also said it will be canceling flights between the Philippines, Hong Kong and Macau until Feb. 29.

Passengers of the canceled flights may rebook within 30 days of original travel date, opt for a full refund, or place it in a travel fund for future use.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) also said it would cancel all flights from China and its territories starting Sunday, Feb. 2, until Feb. 29.

"Effective immediately until 29 February 2020, Philippine Airlines will be cancelling all flights between Manila and the following points in greater China: Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Xiamen, Quanzhou (Jinjiang) and Macau," the airline said in a statement on Sunday.

"We are constrained to cancel these flights in compliance with the February 2, 2020 directive of the President of the Philippines and the related Order of the Philippine Civil Aeronautics Board, which aim to protect the Philippine public by helping to contain and neutralize the spread of the novel coronavirus," PAL added.

Rebooking and rerouting are allowed for travel until June 30, 2020 with penalties waived. Refunding the cost of tickets is also allowed with penalties waived.

Meanwhile, AirAsia said it is canceling flights between the Philippines and China starting February 2, Sunday, until further notice.

"These include all flights to/from Manila, Kalibo, and Cebu to/from mainland China cities (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Shanghai), Hong Kong SAR, and Macao SAR," the airline said in a statement.

Customers affected by the flight cancellations can move their flight dates, put in AirAsia's online credit account, or avail of a full refund.

"AirAsia will also be implementing a mandatory temperature screening of all passengers prior to boarding any domestic and international Z2 flight. This is being done with proper coordination with health and airport authorities," AirAsia said.

The Chinese Consulate General, meanwhile, said Xiamen Airlines will cancel all flights between Jinjiang, China and Davao City through all of February due to the virus outbreak.

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD), which originated in a market that sells wild game in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has killed at least 259 people and infected nearly 12,000 others in China as of Saturday.

The virus, which health authorities said is transmitted between humans through close contact, has spread to more than 20 countries, including parts of North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

The Philippines on Thursday confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus - a 38-year-old woman from Wuhan, who arrived in the Philippines on Jan. 21.