Philippine Airlines will deploy a special commercial flight from Dubai to Manila on Friday, August 6. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Philippine Airlines (PAL) will deploy a special commercial flight from Dubai to Manila on Friday, August 6, a Dubai-based spokesperson for the national carrier confirmed to Gulf News.

The special service, dubbed Bayanihan flight, is part of the Philippine government’s temporary measure to bring home stranded Filipinos in the UAE due to the continued travel restrictions it imposed on 10 countries, including the UAE.

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The PAL spokesperson earlier confirmed to Gulf News that regular commercial flights have been suspended until August 31. The Philippine government had first imposed restrictions on inbound travel from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman and the UAE on May 15 to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant.

The PAL official also said that based on guidelines set by the Philippine Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), airlines are required to ensure bookings for a 14-day hotel quarantine for returning OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) before they can secure a special permit to deploy a Bayanihan flight. “We have already cancelled our flights on August 2 and 4,” she noted.

Flight PR659

Bayanihan flight PR659 will leave Dubai at 7.30pm on Friday and is expected to land in Manila at 8.50am (Philippine time) the following day.

According to PAL spokesperson, there are only few seats left for the flight. “We can only accommodate up to 288 passengers. It will be on a first-come-first-serve basis but we will give priority to those whose flights were earlier cancelled. They can rebook by calling PAL customer service at 04-3166632. There are no rebooking or fare difference charges, only applicable tax, if any,” she added.

Negative PCR-test result — a must

The airline spokesperson also reminded all passengers bound for Manila to secure a negative PCR test, even for infants, valid for 48 hours before the flight.

“We will be very strict with the validity of the test. To avoid denial at the check-in counter, the passenger must ensure the test is valid for 48 hours — meaning if the flight is on August 6 (7.30pm), the test must not be taken earlier than 7.30pm on August 4,” she explained.