A Cebu Pacific aircraft during takeoff. Image Credit: Cebu Pacific

Dubai: Etihad and two Philippine carriers, Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific, have suspended all flights between the UAE and Manila in compliance with the Philippine government’s implementation of “enhanced community quarantine over the entire island of Luzon, including Metro Manila”. An Etihad spokesperson told Gulf News on Tuesday all flights between Abu Dhabi and Manila are suspended “from March 18 until further notice” while PAL will suspend all flights between Dubai and Manila from March 20 until April 12 and Cebu Pacific will cancel flights at an earlier date starting from March 19 until April 14.

All domestic flights of Philippine Airlines have also been cancelled from March 17 until April 12 while all other domestic and international Cebu Pacific and CEBGO flights will be cancelled from March 19 until April 14, the two airlines said in separate statements sent to Gulf News.

Gulf News has reached out to Emirates but the Dubai-based carrier has yet to make any announcement of flight suspension.

On Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire island of Luzon – with around 58M people or 59 per cent of the entire Filipino population – under “enhanced community quarantine” until April 12, as the deadly disease has so far affected at least 187 people and claimed 12 lives in the Philippines.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport - the Philippines’ main gateway – Clark International Airport are all affected as they’re located in Luzon.

“The Philippine government recently implemented enhanced community quarantine over Luzon, and similar directives across various provinces in the country. Cebu Pacific is ensuring the safety of their passengers and operations teams, in support of stricter quarantine measures, land travel restrictions and regulations in place,” read a statement from Cebu Pacific.

All Cebu Pacific passengers are advised to check their flight status on http://bit.ly/CEBflight-status

“For the health and safety of their passengers and personnel, all Cebu Pacific Ticket offices will be closed from March 19 to April 14, 2020. For any concerns, please contact Cebu Pacific via http://bit.ly/CEBrequest. Passengers may also contact Cebu Pacific customer hotlines through http://bit.ly/CustomerHotlines,” the statement added.

PAL, for their part, said: “Please note that this is a developing situation, and the quarantine rules are subject to periodic review by the Philippine government’s Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID 19.”

“We respectfully request you to consider deferring any requests for rebooking until after April 12, in view of the strict social distancing required by the quarantine measures.”

Addressing their customers, PAL added: “We expect a high volume of queries and transactions at the Ticket Office as well as the hotline, and we ask you to bear with us as we deal with the challenge of handling an unprecedented number of cancelled flights over this quarantine period. We seek your kind understanding and patience as we cope with this major challenge and make a collective sacrifice in the name of the national interest and public health.”

Clients of PAL in the UAE can call the 04 3166632 in Dubai and 02 6222462 in Abu Dhabi.