PAL mounting special China flights for stranded passengers

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Thursday said it will mount special flights on February 10 to cater to stranded passengers affected by the government's temporary travel ban on China amid the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) scare.

"The Manila-Xiamen flight will be solely for stranded Chinese nationals and foreign nationals. (Next priority will be given to) other stranded passengers of PAL's canceled flights, specifically Filipino citizens and Philippine permanent resident visa holders who are still in other Chinese destinations," PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said in a message.

Xiamen would be their gateway to get to other parts of China, she added.

PAL will use a 199-seater aircraft for the special flights.

The Manila-Xiamen flight will depart at 7:30 a.m., while the return flight will depart Xiamen at 11:05 a.m.

Villaluna said two pilots and five cabin crew volunteered to man the special flights. They will undergo the 14-day quarantine upon their return to the Philippines.

On February 2, the Philippine government has imposed a temporary travel ban on visitors from China and its Special Administrative Regions (SAR) -- Hong Kong and Macao.

The directive covers temporary ban of any person regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and permanent resident visa holders issued by the Philippine government directly coming from China or SAR; any person regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and permanent resident visa holders, who within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, has been to China or its Special Administrative Regions.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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