AFP to ferry passengers

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013


THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) through the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will start ferrying on Thursday passengers of commercial airlines bound for Manila via General Santos City.

Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, made the announcement Wednesday in a press conference citing that the C-130 Hercules cargo plane of PAF will be used to ferry the Manila-bound passengers from Zamboanga City.

There were no flights since Monday afternoon from and to this city as the Zamboanga International Airport (ZIA) had been closed to commercial air traffic.

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ZIA had been closed to ensure the protection of both the planes and passengers since it is risky due to the ongoing hostilities between the government forces and the “Misuari-faction” Moro National Liberation Front rebels.

Reporters from the giant networks were even forced to board a plane from Manila to either Pagadian City or Dipolog City and endured a seven-hour land travel by commercial bus to be able to cover the crisis on the ground.

Some even landed as far as Cagayan de Oro City from Manila and travelled for 12 hours by passenger bus to this city.

Roxas said the Manila-bound passengers, especially booked by Cebu-Pacific Air (CEB), would board CEB flight to Manila upon arrival in General Santos City.

However, Roxas said priority will be given for those who will go on Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The first batch of pilgrims is set to depart on Sunday, September 15.

All they have to do is to present a CEB ticket with September 12 Zamboanga-Manila flight schedule to be accommodated by the Air Force.

He said similar arrangements are still being made to other airline companies to adopt the same scheme to accommodate Zamboanga-Manila passengers in General Santos City to Manila. (Bong Garcia)

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