PAL mounts 'sweeper flights' from Cebu to ferry stranded foreigners


Posted at Mar 19 2020 03:48 PM | Updated as of Mar 20 2020 05:50 AM

MANILA - Philippine Airlines said Thursday it would mount "sweeper flights" from Cebu to Manila and Tokyo to ferry foreigners stranded because of the COVID-19 lockdown. 

The flag carrier scheduled 2 round-trip flights on Thursday between Cebu and Manila, and will mount another flight on Friday from Cebu to Narita, gateway to Tokyo, Japan, PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said.

"The sweeper flights are being carried out to ferry stranded foreign nationals out of our domestic hub Cebu which has the most number in terms of stranded," Villaluna said. 

The airline is limiting these flights to Cebu and Manila, and Cebu and Narita because of tight regulatory and logistical requirements during the quarantine period, she said.

PAL's cargo flights meanwhile are unaffected, she said. 

The airline cancelled all domestic flights because of the COVID-19 quarantine imposed over different parts of the country. 

Cebu Pacific also cancelled all flights, while AirAsia cancelled all domestic flights from Manila, Cebu and Kalibo and is set to cancel all international flights as well.