Dubai: Philippine carriers — Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific — have extended flight cancellation between the UAE and Philippines until June 15, following the decision of the Philippine government on Monday evening to extend restrictions on “travellers going to the Philippines coming from seven countries, including the UAE, until June 15.
The Philippine government has earlier imposed restrictions on inbound travel from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Oman and the UAE from May 15 until May 31.
UAE airlines — Emirates and Etihad — however, “continue to operate flights to Manila carrying transiting passengers from non-restricted countries and flights from Manila with passengers travelling to the UAE and across its network.”
Extension of travel ban
In a statement sent to Gulf News on Tuesday, Cebu Pacific said: “In line with the recent announcement of the Philippine government on the extension of the temporary entry from UAE, among other countries, Cebu Pacific will be cancelling its flights to and from Dubai until June 15, 2021.”
The airline has already cancelled its flights from June 1 to 3 ahead of time as a pre-emptive measure. Affected passengers have been notified via their contact details provided during booking. Guests were told to manage booking on Cebu Pacific website up to 30 days from original date of departure.
Cebu Pacific added: “We continue to work closely with the various authorities and will provide updates as necessary. Passengers are strongly advised not to proceed to the airport without a confirmed flight.”
A PAL official in Dubai also confirmed to Gulf News that they have cancelled their flights (PR658 and PR659) between Manila and Dubai until June 15.
Flights for transiting passengers
Meanwhile, Etihad said: “We will continue to operate flights to Manila carrying transiting passengers from non-restricted countries and flights from Manila with passengers travelling to Abu Dhabi and across our network.”
“These passengers will be subject to acceptance and quarantine conditions. Etihad is working closely with impacted guests to notify them of the changes to their itineraries. This is an evolving situation and we will update guests as more information becomes available. Etihad regrets any inconvenience caused to its guests by these temporary restrictions,” the Abu Dhabi-based airline added.
“Same restrictions apply and flights will continue to operate,” added an Emirates spokesperson.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Consulate in Dubai confirmed that around 400 Filipino passengers who were stranded on Monday at the Dubai International Airport were able to fly at 3pm on Tuesday via Cebu Pacific.
“Around 400 Filipinos went home as part of the Philippine government’s repatriation program,” Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes said.
Explaining the flight delay on Monday, Cebu Pacific said: “Due to operational limitations, chartered flight RP-C3348 5J011, initially scheduled to depart from Dubai to Manila on 31 May 2021 at 2130H, has encountered an interruption brought about by the delay in the check-in process of passengers as well as congestion in the immigration lanes.”
“The departure time was moved to 1500H, 1 June 2021 (GST). It was a normal operational procedure, nothing to do with the immigration lane specifically. Since it was a chartered flight, there were additional processes needed as compared to regular commercial flights,” Cebu Pacific added.