MANILA, Philippines — Following the extension of the Philippines’ travel ban on arrivals from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) until June 30, the country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines cancelled a number of flights bound for Dubai.
The cancelled flights include those scheduled on June 16, 23 and 30 with flight numbers PR658 and PR659 Manila-Dubai-Manila.
Meanwhile, PAL flights to and from Qatar (Doha) and Saudi Arabia (Riyadh and Dammam) are continuing, and the firm intends to operate all of these flights to cater to the travel needs of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
“We remind our passengers that PAL is occasionally compelled to cancel certain flights from time to time to comply with capacity limitations at Manila airport,” the airline explained in an advisory.
“When a temporary shortage develops in the allocation of hotel rooms for OFWs in Metro Manila and environs, we may be forced to cancel at the last moment,” it further said.
PAL explained an incident that happened on June 6 when the airline had to fly an empty aircraft from Riyadh to Manila because it was not allowed by the government to board the passengers who had been waiting to take the flight home.
For the period June 1 to June 15, the airline has recorded a total of 12 force majeure affecting its routes to Dammam, Doha and Riyadh.
These cancellations were due to the shortage of quarantine accommodations and other limitations, as advised by the Philippine government, the airline said.
Overall during the said period, the cancellations affected an estimated 10,000 passengers.
“We sincerely regret the inconvenience to our passengers, and seek their kind understanding that this is a situation beyond our control,” the airline stressed.
As an alternative, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and PAL have been coordinating to arrange special repatriation flights to ferry stranded passengers from the Middle East, including a repatriation flight last June 14 from Dubai and more that we hope to set up next week.
All affected passengers may opt to avail of the following options:
1. Convert your ticket to a Travel Voucher;
2. 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;
3. Refund your ticket without penalties.
Any request may be coursed through the MyPAL Request Hub.