FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has continued to operate a number of international flights in response to urgent public need and the government's call for an air service lifeline to ferry out stranded foreign nationals.
As a public service, PAL is extending full free rebooking privileges to all passengers who were booked on any flight during the community quarantine period from March 15, and beyond up to April 30.
Effective immediately, any applicable fare difference is waived for passengers flying on the same cabin class on their rebooked flight, said PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna.
The free rebooking and fare difference waiver privileges are also extended to passengers of flights from outside the March 15 to April 30 period who are prevented from travel due to government-imposed travel bans, quarantines or flight cancellations due to COVID-19.
“We at Philippine Airlines will do our part to help our customers and fellow citizens during the ongoing national and global emergency.
“We have so far maintained most of our international flights to help foreign tourists, OFWs and other people fly to their homelands or places of work, an urgent need identified by the Philippine government.
“We do so even if we are certain to incur a loss on these flights, and we are taking all necessary health and safety precautions to ensure a safe journey for the passengers and crew members on board,” said PAL in a statement.
With the lifting of the 72-hour window for international travel, the flag carrier is marshaling resources to operate limited international services on selected routes for March 20 and beyond, and will announce the details in due course.
The final decision will depend on whether the airline, its service providers and the authorities can overcome increasing challenges, including the difficulty of securing enough manpower at the airports to support these operations given quarantine restrictions, and a growing series of travel bans and restrictions imposed by various countries.
“We salute our crew members, along with all our personnel and those of our service partners, who show up for work in spite of COVID-19 concerns --- a display of buong pusong alaga and bayanihan spirit that we can all appreciate,” Villaluna said.