AirAsia cancels PH flights to Taiwan amid novel coronavirus travel ban

Robie de Guzman   •   February 11, 2020   •   1285

MANILA, Philippines – AirAsia on Tuesday, February 11, announced the cancellation of its flights between the Philippines and Taiwan in compliance with the Philippine government’s expanded travel restrictions to China and its regions that were affected by the outbreak of novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV-ARD).

In an advisory, the AirAsia said that flights going Taiwan (Taipei and Kaohsiung) are now cancelled until further notice.

The airliner previously cancelled flights from the Philippines to and from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao until March 2020.

AirAsia guests affected by the flight cancellations and travel restrictions may choose from the following options:

  • Move flight: One-time flight change to a new travel date on the same route within 30 calendar days beginning 29 March 2020 from original flight time without additional cost, subject to seat availability. Applicable for guests affected by cancelled flights and travel restrictions imposed.
  • Credit account: Retain the value of your fare in your AirAsia BIG Loyalty account for future travel with AirAsia. The online credit account is to be redeemed for booking within 90 calendar days from the issuance date for your travel with us. The actual travel dates can be after the expiry date as long as our flight schedule is out. This is applicable for affected flights to/from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR, and Macao SAR until 28 March 2020.
  • Full refund: Obtain a full refund to your original payment method for the amount equivalent to your booking. Applicable for affected flights to/from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR, and Macao SAR until 28 March 2020.

AirAsia said guests whose flights fall into the above date range can obtain a full refund in the amount equivalent to that booking in the form of original payment. Refund requests can be made with AVA at support.airasia.com. 

For bookings made through travel agents including online travel agents, refund requests are to be made via the respective travel agents.

AirAsia also strongly encourages its guests to update their contact details to ensure that they receive timely notifications.

The airline company’s action follows the Department of Health’s announcement Monday that Taiwan is covered in the expanded travel ban in an effort to curb the spread of novel coronavirus.

Repatriation efforts exempted from PH travel ban – IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   June 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on Friday said that Filipinos being repatriated would be exempted from the country’s entry restrictions imposed on travelers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.

IATF and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that in case of Philippine government-organized repatriation, a prior coordination should be conducted between the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) at least 48 hours prior to the departure of Filipinos from the country of origin.

The DFA and OWWA should also coordinate with the Department of Health-Bureau of Quarantine (DOH-BOQ), Department of Transportation and its One-Stop Shop, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and the National Task Force against COVID-19 Task Group for the Management of returning Overseas Filipinos.

In the case of non-Philippine government repatriation, Roque said all Filipino repatriates from the countries with travel restrictions must present a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 48 hours prior to boarding the aircraft or vessel.

“The airline or the shipping line is responsible to check on this requirement. A copy of the negative RT-PCR test result of the repatriate shall be submitted to the BOQ upon arrival in the port of entry in the Philippines,” he said.

Roque also said that prior approval from the BOQ is needed for the entry of flight or vessel carrying Filipino repatriates prior to its movement from point of origin.

“In this connection, the concerned local manning agency (in the case of seafarers), the Philippine recruitment agency (for land-based workers), or the sponsoring Philippine government agency shall submit an exemption request to the DOH-BOQ, the approval of which is tantamount to IATF’s approval on the repatriation effort,” he said.

All repatriates from countries with travel restrictions in effect are required to undergo a strict 14-day facility-based quarantine from the date of arrival in the Philippines, with the date of arrival being the first day.

Meanwhile, the IATF allowed foreign nationals holding Special Resident Retiree’s Visa to enter the Philippines without the need of an entry exemption document, Roque said.

BI reminds public: Travel ban on 7 countries stays; tourists still not allowed in PH

Marje Pelayo   •   June 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced that the travel ban on seven countries due to emerging COVID-19 variants in their domain is still in effect.

In an advisory, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente stressed that passengers coming from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are still not allowed to enter the country until June 15, following the pronouncement of the Palace.

The BI said it is committed to strictly implement the said measure.

“Those who have a travel history from said countries within the last 14 days from the date of their arrival in the Philippines, will also be prohibited from entering the country,” said Morente.

“However, those who will only be transiting in the region—meaning they will not exit the airport and will not be cleared by immigration authorities there, and will only be landing for a layover, may be allowed to enter the Philippines,” he added.

In addition to this, foreign nationals entering the country for tourism purposes are still not allowed.

“Only Filipinos, Balikbayans, and foreign nationals with valid and existing visas who are not coming from the 7 restricted countries may be allowed to enter the Philippines,” BI Port Operations Division (POD) Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong.

“Those who will be entering under a 9(a) Temporary Visitors’ Visa or a Special Resident Retirees Visa would need to present an entry exemption document to be allowed to enter,” he added.

Morente said that with the aggressive vaccination drive of the government, he is hopeful that travel restrictions will ease in the latter part of the year.

PAL cancels flight to Tokyo amid MCIA ban on int’l arrivals

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Flag-carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced the cancellation of its flight to Tokyo after the Cebu government ordered the closure of Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to arriving international flights of all airlines for two days, May 14 and 15, 2021.

In an advisory, PAL said it has canceled the following flight that was originally scheduled to land in Cebu during this period:

  • PR 433 – Tokyo (Narita) – Cebu on May 14

“We sincerely regret that we have no choice but to cancel this flight, despite our passengers having already pre-booked and confirmed their hotel rooms for the mandatory quarantine stays in Cebu,” PAL said.

“We will reach out to notify affected passengers directly by email or based on other contact information provided,” it added.

The airline company also assured it would continue to coordinate closely with government authorities to help passengers, including cooperation in resolving quarantine and testing issues as necessary.

PAL advised affected passengers of these cancelled flights to do the following steps:

  • Convert your ticket to a Travel Voucher;
  • Avail of unlimited rebooking (no rebooking fee) until December 31, 2021. If you will be completing your travel in the same booking class by June 30, 2021 (or ticket validity, whichever comes first), there will be no fare difference charge;
  • Refund your ticket without penalties.

Passengers may request any if these options via myPAL Request Hub.

“Again, our sincere apologies for the inconvenience. Thank you,” PAL said.

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