ALL commercial and passenger flights to and from the Philippines have been suspended effective Sunday, May 3, to “further mitigate the spread of the deadly coronavirus”.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) announced the suspension late Saturday night. It did not specify the duration of the suspension.
But the Philippine Airlines, in a separate statement, said the suspension is for one week, or until May 9.
“As a result, we have had to cancel our special passenger flights from the USA bound for Manila, departing on the days from May 4 up to May 8".
In its Facebook post, the MIAA said the National Task Force Against Covid-19 decided to suspend all commercial/passenger flights beginning 8 a.m. Sunday.
Cargo flights, medical supplies, utility and maintenance flights will continue and remain unhampered.
A day earlier, on May 2, six foreign airlines still had scheduled flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
These were Etihad Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways and Korean Air.
Under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) guidelines, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and foreign nationals as well as permanent residents and student visa holders are still allowed to leave the country.
OFWs, however, are not allowed to depart for the following destinations: Hubei province and Wuhan City in China; North Gyeongsang, Cheongdo and Daegu in South Korea; Italy; and Iran.
Metro Manila and eight other areas in the country are still under ECQ until May 15, 2020.
Others under ECQ are Central Luzon (except Aurora), Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Benguet, Iloilo province, Cebu province, Davao City and Bacolod City. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)