Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines on Tuesday announced it is suspending all remaining international flights beginning Friday, March 26 until April 14 due to losses caused by the travel restriction imposed by the government in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
“We regret to advise that all remaining Philippine Airlines international flights will be suspended temporarily, starting from 26 March 2020, Thursday until 14 April 2020. All domestic flights had ceased as of March 17, 2020,” the PAL management said in a statement.
After careful consideration, the airline concluded that it could no longer sustain even a limited number of international flights for the following compelling reasons: 1) The strict travel and entry restrictions imposed by more and more countries; 2) The resulting collapse in demand for travel; and 3) Continuing challenges in staffing our Manila airport hub during the ongoing lockdown.
“Accordingly, our last flight to depart from Manila this week will be PR 104 bound for San Francisco at 10:10 PM on March 25. Several flights will continue to arrive in Manila on March 26 from Los Angeles, Tokyo Narita and Jakarta, and on March 27 from New York JFK, San Francisco and Los Angeles,” the airline stated.
PAL is hoping it will resume flight service operations beginning April 15, if warranted by Philippine and international authorities, global public health conditions and the travel environment.
It urged clients to stay posted for announcements on its official website www.philippineairlines.com and its PAL Facebook and Twitter social media accounts.
“We shall now turn our attention to the task of conserving our resources in anticipation of the recovery and caring for the needs of our PAL team members, while we keep our fleet ready for the day that we resume flying. We shall continue to make aircraft and service personnel available for special flights to retrieve stranded passengers as well as cargo flights to keep intact critical supply chains across our islands,” PAL stated.
“We understand that this pause in operations will be an inconvenience, and we hope for your understanding as we at PAL look to the safety of our colleagues and our families as we all face this global contagion.”
The flag carrier also acknowledged its employees for their dedication and courage in the face of “these unprecedented challenges, and to all of our service partners and government authorities who are working with us. We will stand together as the world deals with the COVID-19 virus.”
“We thank you, our valued customers, for your support and patience during this most difficult time. The global crisis is monumental in scale, but we are confident that we can all join together and work to overcome the challenges, and that your flag carrier will soon be back in the air to again link our beautiful country together and connect us with the world.”