MANILA - Philippine Airlines (PAL) mounted 2 special flights on Monday on its Manila-Xiamen, China route for passengers stranded because of the cancelation of flights to and from mainland China this February due to the coronavirus outbreak.
PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said an Airbus A321 left Manila at 7:37 a.m. and arrived in Xiamen at 9:24 a.m. carrying Chinese nationals and tourists who had been unable to return to their country because of the suspension of PAL flights there.
The same aircraft left Xiamen at 11:05 a.m. and arrived at 1:20 a.m. carrying Filipinos stranded in China.
PAL said the plane was staffed with pilots and cabin crew who volunteered for the service.
"Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa mga piloto at cabin crew ng Philippine Airlines for volunteering in this special mission to bring back to China our stranded Chinese tourist guests and our foreign guests, and of course for the return flight to bring back our kababayans," Villaluna said.
The Filipinos on the special PAL flight will undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, Villaluna said.
PAL is studying the clamor to mount more flights, she added.
Based on the travel ban imposed by the Philippine government, no Filipinos will be allowed to go to mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.
Meanwhile, PAL appealed to passengers to provide personal contact details, such as mobile phone numbers, residential phone numbers, email addresses, hotel addresses and other contact information, when buying tickets.
"This is important information that airlines and authorities would use in case there is a need to contact you and inform you of any changes or updates related to your flight," the airline said.
PAL also advised passengers flying to the United States that they will need to accomplish a Public Health Declaration Form which must be submitted to airport personnel to complete the check-in process for their flight to the US.
"These declaration forms are a new regulatory requirement of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)," PAL said.
- With a report from Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News