MANILA - Airlines have agreed to waive re-booking and cancellation fees for flights that will be affected by the upcoming closure of Boracay Island, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said Friday.
Teo said she told airline officials that closure was "imminent" and that they "agreed" to waive such charges.
Philippine Airlines will "will be ready to assist passengers in rebooking, refunding and rerouting their flights" should the government proceed with its planned Boracay shutdown, said its spokeswoman, Cielo Villaluna, when asked to comment on Teo's statement.
Despite Boracay's impending closure, PAL will "retain some flights" to Kalibo "to serve residents and businesses" in Aklan province, Villaluna said.
Cebu Pacific "will offer full refunds" as well as rebooking options for affected passengers "as soon as there is final word" from President Rodrigo Duterte, the airline's corporate communications director, Charo Logarta-Lagamon, told ABS-CBN News.
Boracay hosted 3.72 million tourists and received 35,163 flights in 2017, according to data from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
Teo said she has yet to talk to hotel and resort owners in Boracay on how to handle cancelled bookings.
Hotels in Boracay could lose P50 million each due to cancelled bookings should the closure push through, a group of businessmen said Thursday.
Moves to rehabilitate Boracay started in February after President Rodrigo Duterte flagged pollution, which he said, had turned the island into a "cesspool."