UPDATED – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has approved the request of Palawan authorities to resume regulated commercial flight operations at the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPCIA).
Under the arrangement, each of the three major domestic airlines may schedule one flight per day that will primarily cater to inbound passengers.
The passengers of the special flights however wil be restricted only to returning stranded Palawan residents, overseas Filipino workers, approved persons outside of residence (APOR) and individuals specifically invited by Palawan local government units.
Madel Espartero, spokesperson of CAAP-Puerto Princesa City that only Cebu Pacific so far has scheduled a flight on June 15.
In a statement, the Provincial Information Office (PIO) said that Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez met with CAAP and representatives of AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, and Philippine Airlines to coordinate the resumption of flights.
“Actually, kaming tatlong airlines, okay naman kami sa resumption ng commercial flights for the meantime. Siyempre, we want to help our fellow Palaweños na makauwi na sa kanilang locality, and of course, since we are private companies, we are also happy na resume na rin kami, may mga staff din kasi kami na waiting for the resumption of work,” said Louie Fe Nacasi, duty manager of Air Asia Philippines, Inc.
Prior to this request, stranded individuals were only able to travel back to the province via ferry services.
Upon arrival in Palawan, LSIs, ROFs, and APORs will still be subject to the existing mandatory testing and quarantine procedures before returning to their respective homes.
Each airline may only conduct two flights a week with one flight a day. Airlines are also expected to strictly follow sanitation protocols for their aircraft. According to the CAAP Area 4 Facebook page, as of June 12, Cebu Pacific has committed flights every Monday and Friday at the PPCIA. Flight schedules in a day are as follows:
5J 639 MNL-PPS ETD 14:30 ETA 16:05
5J 640 PPS-MNL ETD 17:00 ETA 18:40