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PAL to momentarily cease all passenger operations starting Thursday

Aviation Updates Philippines – In its latest advisory, national flag carrier Philippine Airlines said it will suspend all remaining international flights beginning Thursday, March 26, 2020, until Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
NO LONGER VIABLE. PAL will cut its remaining international flights starting Thursday, March 25. Photo from Edwin Tuyay, Bloomberg
According to PAL, it "could no longer sustain even a limited number of international flights" citing strict travel and entry restrictions imposed by international bodies, the collapse of the tourism industry, and problems on staffing in Manila due to the enforced enhanced community quarantine.

"We shall now turn our attention to the task of conserving our resources in anticipation of the recovery and caring for the needs of our PAL team members, while we keep our fleet ready for the day that we resume flying. We shall continue to make aircraft and service personnel available for special flights to retrieve stranded passengers as well as cargo flights to keep intact critical supply chains across our islands," the airline remarked.

The airline said its last international flights out of Manila will be PR-104 bound for San Francisco scheduled at 10:10 pm local time on March 25. PAL expects to serve its last inbound international flights from Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo-Narita, and Jakarta on March 26 and 27.

PAL added it plans to gradually restore all operations normally on April 15, 2020, once cleared by concerned authorities. In the meantime, flight operations will temporarily be suspended except for the crucial cargo-only flights.

PAL said: "We thank you, our valued customers, for your support and patience during this most difficult time. The global crisis is monumental in scale, but we are confident that we can all join together and work to overcome the challenges, and that your flag carrier will soon be back in the air to again link our beautiful country together and connect us with the world."

On Friday, the flag carrier previously announced that it will continue to serve select international destinations since the Philippines Department of Transportation (DOTr) lifted the 72-hour ban on outbound and inbound international flights.

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