First week of resumed flight operations for 'fine tuning' — airline official

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 1) — Local air carriers will take to the skies this week as Metro Manila and other parts of the country eases to general community quarantine, but officials say adjustments need to be made before they can operate.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) Spokesperson Cielo Villaluna told CNN Philippines they will be expecting more coordination between the Inter-Agency Task Force and local government units which will be receiving the travelers, during the first week of resumed air travel.

"Each LGU may have their own set of documents they want passengers to present upon arrival," Villaluna said in an interview. "Even as we speak today, we get calls from local government units informing us of the documents that passengers will receive. So we believe that this is the week where we are fine-tuning everything for the domestic sector, and we feel like it is most ideal to start on June 8."

PAL previously announced the resumption of its international and domestic flights starting June 1 following the easing of quarantine restrictions, while Cebu Pacific said it would start flying passengers to a few destinations within the country beginning June 2.

On Saturday, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) advised airlines to cancel their flights scheduled on June 1, prior to the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force.

When asked about the apparent miscommunication, Villaluna said that PAL, along with other members of the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines, had complied with the requirements requested by the authorities.

"We complied with the directive of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to submit our domestic services and international services with complete flight schedules, and it was approved by the DOTr (Department of Transportation) CAAP, and we announced it," Villaluna said. "Then all of a sudden, we received the CAB advisory informing us that the flights of Week One of June will be under review."

Villaluna admitted that the sudden announcement had become a cause for concern among their passengers.

"Because of that, we made that decision to cancel all our domestic flights, only domestic flights, from June 1 to 7, and start on June 8," Villaluna said.

Airline companies announced over the weekend their new domestic flight schedules for June, assuring passengers they are ready to operate under the 'new normal.'

Passengers are expected to follow enhanced safety measures such as the mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, and other protocols at the airport and all throughout their flights.

Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal earlier said that Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport will continue serving international flights, while Terminal 2 will be for evacuation and sweeper flights, and for PAL domestic flights. Terminal 3 will be for AirAsia and Cebu Pacific, while Terminal 4 will remain closed.