News

Airlines cancel flights after Manila lockdown extension

28 Apr 2020 by Seher Asaf
Philippine Airlines A350-900

A number of carriers operating in the Philippines have cancelled flights after the Philippine government extended its lockdown of Manila, as well as other regions in the country, until May 15.

Airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia have adjusted their schedules in response to the lockdown extension.

Philippine Airlines, the flag carrier of the Philippines, said it will suspend all domestic and international flights until May 15.

“The continued pause in our operations is in compliance with the Luzon Enhanced Community Quarantine, which has been further extended by the Philippine Government until May 15th.  We are in the process of notifying affected passengers by e-mail (many of you may have already received a notification by now),” the carrier said on its website.

Philippine Airlines said it is planning on flying a reduced number of weekly flights on most domestic routes and on selected international routes on May 16 only “if warranted by Philippine and international authorities, global public health conditions and the travel environment”.

The carried added that it will announce the list of operating flights and routes once the details are finalized, but it is also cautioning passengers that the plans are “highly subject to change” depending on the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Cebu Pacific, another airline based in the Philippines, confirmed on its website that all of its domestic and international flights will remain cancelled  until May 15 due to the lockdown. The low-cost carrier initially suspended all flights on March 17 over the coronavirus crisis.

“We will provide updates on when we will restart passenger operations as soon as possible,” Cebu Pacific said on its website.

The airline said passengers on cancelled flights can manage their bookings on its website before their scheduled travel dates. Cebu Pacific is offering passengers three options:

  • Free rebooking – the carrier says passengers can rebook to any other travel date within three months. Rebooking fees and fare difference fees have been waived.
  • Full Travel Fund – passengers can also place the full cost of the ticket in a Travel Fund valid for one year.  Passengers can either book a flight up to one year ahead, or pay for add-ons (e.g. baggage allowance, seat selection, etc.)
  • If the Travel Fund is not used within one (1) year, passengers can apply for a full re-fund. Cebu Pacific says processing of refunds will start after the community quarantine in the country has been lifted and “regular work schedules resume”. The carrier also says “due to the unprecedented volume of requests for refunds, the process will take as long as three to four billing cycles”.

For flights booked through a travel agent “please coordinate with them to manage the booking”, Cebu Pacific said.

Finally, Air Asia has cancelled all of its domestic and international Z2 flights until May 15 in the Philippines.

The low-cost airline said guests with existing flight bookings made on or before April 24 with a departure date between March 23 and June 30 will now be able to “select from a range of extended flexibility options for future travel”.

Air Asia X Airbus A330

According to Air Asia, passengers who have been affected by the cancellations have two options. They can either change to any new travel date before October 31 on the same route for an unlimited number of times without any additional costs, although this is “subject to seat availability”, or they can choose to retain the value of the flight booking for future travel with Air Asia to be redeemed within 365 calendar days from the issuance date. The travel date of the new booking can fall on any date within the published flight schedule on airasia.com.

“Guests are also advised that changes to travel plans may be made with Air Asia even after the community quarantine period. For their convenience, guests may utilise Air Asia’s online support team and visit AirAsia’s office as needed once restrictions have been lifted,” the carrier said in a statement posted on its website.

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