A Philippine Airlines (PAL) plane Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: The last flight of Philippine Airlines (PAL) from Dubai to Manila on March 19 will be delayed due to postponement of the plane’s departure from Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, the PAL country manager in the UAE confirmed to Gulf News.

PAL’s flight PR 658 from Manila to Dubai was supposed to leave Manila at 8.25am (UAE time) on Thursday and arrive in Dubai at 6.25pm for a turnaround flight (PR 659) to Manila at 7.55pm the same day.

“The flight delay happened after the UAE has suspended the entry of all valid visa holders effective noon on Thursday, as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19),” Agnes Pagaduan, PAL country manager-UAE, told Gulf News.

Pagaduan said the plane that left Manila on Thursday is expected to arrive at Dubai International Airport (DXB) around 10.17pm.

The incoming flight from Manila does not have any passengers but the outbound flight to the Philippines is fully booked, Pagaduan confirmed.

“This would be PAL’s last flight at the moment until operations go back to normal,” she added.

The Philippine flag carrier earlier announced suspension of operations from March 20 until April 12 after President Rodrigo Duterte placed the Philippines under “enhanced community quarantine”.

But PAL immediately announced that flights would be unhampered after the Philippine Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IAFT-EID) lifted the ban on international flights coming in and out of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Philippines’ main gateway.

Pagaduan said PAL flights between Dubai and Manila are now suspended until further notice.