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NAIA to limit international arrivals for a month starting Mar18

  • From March 18 to April 18, international inbound arrivals at Ninoy Aquino International Airport will have a maximum cap of 1,500 passengers per day
  • Airlines must comply with Bureau of Immigration directives on the kind of essential inbound travelers that will be allowed entry into the country
  • Airlines operating in NAIA exceeding the allowed capacity will be penalized

Starting March 18 to April 18, international inbound arrivals at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will be limited to a maximum of 1,500 passengers per day, according to the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

Airlines were also advised to comply with Bureau of Immigration (BI) directives on the kind of essential inbound travelers that will be allowed entry into the country, CAB said in an advisory dated March 15.

Airlines operating in NAIA that will exceed the allowed capacity will be penalized pursuant to Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2021-01, CAB said.

READ: Heavy sanctions await air operators violating COVID-19 protocols

JMC 2021-01 issued last January provides guidelines on the imposition of sanctions for air transport operators found violating COVID-19-related directives and protocols. It was signed on January 8, 2021 by CAB, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Manila International Airport Authority, and Clark International Airport Corp.

To comply with the limit of passengers in the country’s main gateway, Philippine Airlines (PAL) in a statement said it will need to cancel a number of international flights to and from Manila during the covered period.

PAL said it will operate its full international schedule for March 18 but will be announcing in due course any flight cancellations on other days for the rest of the period.

The flag carrier said airlines will comply with any directives from BI and concerned authorities on the type of travelers that will be allowed entry into the Philippines.

“We seek your understanding as we prepare to make adjustments in our operations to comply with these latest government measures, as we support the national effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” PAL said.

Prior to the NAIA announcement limiting entry of international passengers, Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific has already temporarily cancelled passenger flights from Manila to Hong Kong until March 28; passenger flights from Hong Kong to Manila will remain operational.

Other agencies attached to the Department of Transportation have recently issued advisories to strictly implement health and safety protocols in ports and airports amid the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country and the discovery of new variants of the virus.

As of March 16, the Department of Health has recorded 631,320 COVID-19 cases in the country.

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