Cebu Pacific cancels some flights due to inbound travel suspension on March 20
MANILA, Philippines — Airline company Cebu Pacific announced the cancellation of some flights in order to comply with the directive to halt inbound arrivals of foreigners and non-overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to the country.
In a statement on Wednesday, Cebu Pacific that the following flights would be suspended from March 20 to April 18:
• Manila – Narita (Tokyo) – Manila
• Manila – Nagoya – Manila
The suspension of the Cebu Pacific flights covers the duration of the travel suspension imposed by the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 on Tuesday, in an attempt to prevent the spread of more infectious COVID-19 variants of concern.
“In order to prevent the spread of new COVID-19 variants in the Philippines, the government has mandated to limit ALL international arrivals to 1,500 passengers per day, beginning March 18, 2021, until April 18, 2021,” Cebu Pacific said.
“In compliance with this latest resolution, CEB will be canceling the following flights from March 18 to April 18, 2021,” it added.
Passengers affected by the flight suspensions have several options, according to the company: they can either rebook the flight within 90 days without extra fees, store the amount in a virtual wallet that can be used for new flights or add-ons for two years, or apply for a refund.
Due to the high volume of flight cancellations, Cebu Pacific advised customers that refund processing could take up to seven months.
“Affected passengers will be informed via contact details provided in the booking. Guests may select their preferred option through the Manage Booking portal on the Cebu Pacific website (http://bit.ly/CEBmanageflight) within 30 days from the date of departure,” the airline company said.
“Passengers who wish to voluntarily postpone their trips may conveniently rebook their flights up to two (2) hours before their scheduled time of departure, following CEB’s permanent removal of change fees. A minimal fare difference may apply,” it added.
Because of the growing COVID-19 numbers in the country, which some experts attribute to new variants of concern spreading undetected, the NTF COVID-19 agreed to ban inbound flights except in some circumstances.
An additional 4,378 infections reported on Wednesday brought the total number of active COVID-19 cases in the country to 61,733 — the highest number ever recorded for 2021. The Department of Health earlier revealed that the country has already registered at least one case of each for the variants of concern.
Global health authorities have identified three variants of concern: the B.1.1.7 variant from the United Kingdom, the B.1.135 strain from South Africa, and the P.1 strain from Brazil.
According to the analytics group OCTA Research, the latest COVID-19 outbreak is spreading faster than anticipated, potentially resulting in 4,000 new daily cases for Metro Manila by the end of March.
However, newer estimates indicate that if the surge continues, the country could see 8,000 to 11,000 new cases by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific announced that domestic flights would continue. It advised customers to search the company’s website for flight status before departing for the airport.
“CEB will continue to operate its domestic flights as scheduled. Before going to the airport, passengers are advised to check the real-time status of flights on our website: bit.ly/CEBFlightStatusCheck, along with travel requirements, safety protocols, and frequently asked questions (FAQs),” Cebu Pacific said.
“We continue to work closely with the various government authorities and will provide updates as necessary. For other questions or concerns, passengers may send a message via Charlie the chatbot on the Cebu Pacific website or through CEB’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts,” it added.
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