Mixed responses from airlines after Philippines lifts travel ban

02/15/2020 02:40 PM
CNA file photo for illustrative purposes only
CNA file photo for illustrative purposes only

Taipei, Feb. 15 (CNA) After the Philippine government lifted its travel ban against Taiwan on Friday, Taiwanese carriers said they will continue their current reduced flight services between the two countries, while some Philippine carriers said they will resume their original schedule gradually.

Taiwan's government-invested China Airlines (CAL) said its flights CI0701 and CI0702 between Taipei and Manila will remain canceled Saturday. The airline said it was evaluating whether those flights could be restored, adding that it will update its flight services depending on the situation.

On Feb. 13, it delayed its launch of the Taoyuan-Cebu route on March 29 until June 12, because of the Philippine government's ban on Taiwanese travelers entering the country and Filipinos traveling to Taiwan, due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Taiwan's private carrier EVA Airways, meanwhile, said it will maintain its current operations of two Taipei-Manila flights and one Taipei-Cebu flight per day, and gauge the possibility of resuming full services of three Taipei-Manila flights and one Taipei-Cebu flight daily.

Taiwanese startup carrier StarLux Airlines, which announced on Feb. 12 it will postpone the launch of its Taoyuan-Cebu route on April 6 until July 1, said it will maintain that decision even though the Philippine government lifted the ban that was extended to Taiwan on Feb. 10 from China, Hong Kong and Macau, due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Meanwhile, some of the Philippine carriers, which had decided to cancel their Taiwan-Philippines services after the Feb. 10 ban was imposed, said they will restore services gradually.

Philippine Airlines said it will start offering one Manila-Taipei flight on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday between Feb. 21-29.

Such services will be provided daily from March 1, and its standard regular schedule of twice daily flights between Manila and Taipei will take place from March 29 and onwards, the carrier said.

Cebu Pacific Air said it will resume flight 5J310 from Manila to Taipei starting Feb. 17, and flight 5J311 from Taipei to Manila beginning Feb. 18.

Its Manila-Taipei flights 5J310, 5J311, 5J312 and 5J313 will be restored from Feb. 21 onwards, the carrier said.

Philippines AirAsia said it was still finalizing its flight schedule following the government's decision on Friday to lift the ban.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)

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