Dubai: Cebu Pacific (CEB) has cancelled its flights to and from Dubai until August 1 “to ensure that its operations restart smoothly and safely,” the Manila-based Philippine budget carrier confirmed to Gulf News on Tuesday.
“This schedule realignment is geared toward avoiding any last-minute changes that could cause inconvenience to our passengers,” the airline added.
The following flights will be cancelled during this period: 5J 14 (Manila-Dubai) from July 18 to 31, 2021; 5J 17 (Dubai-Manila) from July 17 to August 1, 2021; and 5J 19 (Dubai-Manila) from July 20 to August 1, 2021.Ce bu Pacific will continue to operate all other (Philippines) domestic and international flights as scheduled.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Philippine national carrier, Philippine Airlines, who is based in Dubai confirmed to Gulf News on Tuesday that they have not received any confirmation yet when commercial flights will resume.
Cebu Pacific noted: “Affected passengers have been informed. They may select their preferred option through the airline website up to 30 days from date of departure. Passengers can also avail of “unlimited rebooking with no change fee as CEB permanently removed change fees. No additional cost as fare difference is waived if travel is within 60 days from original flight date. A minimal fare difference may apply after said period.”
Passengers can store the amount in a virtual CEB wallet valid for two years and use this to either book a new flight or pay for add-ons (e.g. baggage allowance, seat selection, etc.)
Due to the high volume of requests, however, Cebu Pacific said that “the process may take up to seven months from date of request.”
Extended travel ban
Regular commercial flights between the UAE and Philippines have been cancelled until July 15, following the decision by the Philippine government to “extend the ban on travellers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman and the UAE until July 15.”
The Philippine government had first imposed restrictions on inbound travel from the seven countries from May 15 until May 31, in view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant that first emerged in India. The travel ban was first extended until June 15, then stretched until June 30 before prolonging it further until July 15.
A spokesperson for the Philippine national carrier, Philippine Airlines, who is based in Dubai confirmed to Gulf News on Tuesday that they have not received any confirmation yet when commercial flights will resume.
Meanwhile, thousands of stranded Filipinos have signed an online petition seeking to lift immediately the travel restrictions imposed by the Philippine government. The online petition titled ‘Lift the UAE ban! It’s our right to go home’, has garnered over 3,500 virtual signatures.
Their statement read: “We the overseas Filipino citizens based and working in the UAE, would like to call upon the Philippine government to hear our voice to lift the travel ban from UAE to Philippines.
“We Filipino citizens have the rightto come home to our own country and without any difficulties in travelling. We Filipino citizens in the UAE are vaccinated and safe. Let us join and gather signatures so that the Philippine government hear our voices to lift the ban for us overseas Filipino Workers and Filipino Nationalities travelling from the UAE to the Philippines. Let’s fight for our rights #LiftUAEban.”