MANILA, Philippines – The threat of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has reduced passenger traffic at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said Wednesday.
MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said that from January 27 to February 17, the country’s main gateway only handled a total of 1,352,692 international passengers compared to 1,624,698 passengers in the same period in 2019.
Domestic passenger traffic at NAIA also went down to 1,406,876 from January 27 to February 17 compared with 1,456,705 in the same period last year.
“It’s a lost opportunity but at the end of the day, there’s still time to recover and hopefully, we’ll be able to recover soon,” Monreal told reporters at a Palace briefing.
The MIAA chief added that the aviation sector is now slowly recovering from its losses after the government fully lifted the travel restrictions on Taiwan, and allowed Filipino overseas workers, students and permanent residents to leave for Hong Kong and Macau.
“So ngayon po, slowly recovering dahil sa mga pagbabago at panukala dahil sa mga pag-uusap ng task force na ipinatutupad ng task force and hopefully our local tourism will recover soon,” he said.
The Philippine government earlier implemented an entry ban for passengers who traveled to China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China.
It later expanded the travel ban to include Taiwan but was eventually lifted on February 14.
On Tuesday, the government announced that Filipino workers, students and permanent residents bound for Hong Kong and Macau are exempted from the outbound travel ban “subject to certain procedural formalities.”
Meanwhile, Monreal expressed hope that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease will find a solution to the concerns raised by local airline companies on the safety protocols relating to the travel of its crew to Hong Kong and Macau.
Local carriers have earlier expressed concern on the reduced number of personnel if their crewmembers will constantly be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period after their flights to and from Hong Kong and Macau.
“Kung ganoon po ang proseso na mayroon pa ho silang quarantine yung mga crew, medyo mahihirapan po sila na magmount ng flights dito kahit po may temporary lifting ng mga pasahero na papunta ng Hong Kong at pabalik po,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has ordered terminal managers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to ensure availability at all times of hand sanitizers in all of its four terminals.
During a press briefing on Friday (January 24), the Bureau of Quarantine stressed that it is important to practice good hand hygiene as it is still the best way to protect oneself from acquiring any virus such as the novel coronavirus.
Proper hand hygiene includes hand washing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic handwash.
Likewise, the Bureau also emphasized the strict practice of cough etiquette which includes covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing preferably with disposable tissue.
Proper disposal of the used tissue is further advised.
It is also advised to strengthen one’s immune system by drinking lots of fluid and eating healthy meals.
Meanwhile, MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal expressed the agency’s full support to the Bureau of Quarantine in its efforts to mitigate the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
“We always recognize each other’s mandates. In this situation, we defer to the Bureau of Quarantine and will submit to their guidelines,” Monreal said.
Quarantine officers are provided with a space for their examination booth located in areas accessible to an exit to the tarmac in case of need to transfer suspected cases to designated hospitals.
MIAA will also provide writing desks for passengers especially those from China to fill-out the health declaration card.
Monreal also ordered terminal police chiefs to strictly sanitize quarantine areas from other airport personnel including the members of media.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has announced resumption of partial operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Monday (January 13).
Departure operations already resumed at 10:00 a.m. while arrival operations resumed at 12:00 p.m.
Authorities say separation time between flights will be longer, in order to give MIAA and CAAP better capability in managing terminal and runway capacities.
“Priority will be given to departure flights, so that the NAIA ramps may be cleared of planes parked thereat since last night. Second priority will be given to regular scheduled flights for today,” the statement reads.
MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal appealed to passengers to continue coordinating with the airlines to confirm their updated flight schedules.
“We request the passengers to make sure that their flights can leave before proceeding to the airport,” he said.
MIAA began clearing the runways, taxiways and ramps of ash fall since 4:00 a.m. on Monday.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
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