In a May 31 advisory, CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla ordered airlines to cancel their planned flights and stop selling tickets as the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has yet to approve routes for domestic flights in the first week of June. IATF is the government’s inter-sectoral body mandated to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.
The advisory came after local airlines, specifically Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, announced the resumption of their operations in June following the easing of community quarantines nationwide.
Philippine Airlines on May 29 announced the resumption of international flights from June 1 to 30 while its domestic flights will start from June 8 to 30.
Cebu Pacific and Cebgo on May 30 announced domestic flights will restart from June 2 to 4 while AirAsia Philippines on May 31 said it will resume domestic flights starting June 3.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on May 28 announced the agency will allow domestic flights between areas under general community quarantine (GCQ). He said the Department of Transportation also plans to expand operations of international flights to Clark, Cebu, and Davao. Limited international flights are currently only allowed in Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Metro Manila, Pangasinan, Regions II, III, IV-A, VII, Zamboanga City and Davao City will transition to GCQ from June 1 to 15 while other areas in the country will be placed under modified GCQ (MGCQ).
GCQ is a less restricted form of community quarantine than modified enhanced community quarantine. MGCQ, meanwhile, is a more relaxed version of GCQ and is the transition phase prior to the “new normal.”
According to the revised omnibus guidelines in the implementation of community quarantine in the Philippines, road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors for public transportation should operate at a reduced operational and vehicle capacity in accordance with guidelines by DOTr and in compliance with social distancing requirements in areas under GCQ.
In areas under MGCQ, public transportation should operate at a capacity in accordance with guidelines by DOTr and again in compliance with social distancing requirements.