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MIAA: Only NAIA 1 to remain open during ECQ; fewer airlines operating

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By Ariel Fernandez
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has announced that it is streamlining its operations and concentrating remaining flights in just one terminal due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Starting 12:01 am of March 28, the following airlines will be operating to and from NAIA Terminal 1:

Gulf Air, Korean Airlines, Asiana Airlines, China Airlines, Hong Kong Air, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, Jeju Air, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Royal Brunei.

Oman Air will cease operations beginning today, while Singapore Airlines and Royal Brunei have announced the suspension of flights to and from Manila beginning March 29.

MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal made this announcement after consulting with the Airline Operators Council (AOC) and following the instructions of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to explore ways to minimize the exposure of airport workers to the coronavirus while ensuring continuous operations in NAIA.

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines has also announced a suspension of international flight operations starting March 26.  PAL  made their last flights out yesterday (March 25) of their MNL-SFO (PR104)  and MNL-LAX (PR102).  The return flights of these two will be on Friday (March 27) at NAIA Terminal 1. 

 
After these arrivals, PAL will cease to operate for the meantime.

As of press time, the following local and foreign airlines have ceased international flight operations:

Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Air Asia, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Qantas Airways, Turkish Airlines, Emirates Airlines, KLM, Air China, Air New Guinea, China Eastern, China Southern, Ethiopian Airlines, Jet Star Asia, Kuwait Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Saudia Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, Thai Airways, Tiger Airways, and Xiamen Airlines.

The MIAA earlier closed NAIA Terminal 4, Terminal 2 Domestic wing, and Terminal 3 Domestic, after a ban on domestic air travel was issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

To date, landing and take-off have dramatically dropped from the usual 768 flight movements per day to 50 movements as air carriers began suspending their operations after foreign governments closed down their borders to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The MIAA’s move to streamline airport operations is a three-pronged approach to:
1) support government in its ECQ efforts because less personnel will have to report for work and will be confined to their homes, thereby reducing exposure to and the spread of the virus;  

2) reduce cost on utilities by closing down NAIA T2, T3, and T4 and, 
3) afford groundhandling companies a cheaper way of managing their logistics.

A Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) has been issued informing pilots around the world that only NAIA Terminal 1 remains in operation for the duration of the ECQ.

The MIAA vowed to continue servicing sweeper flights and has designated NAIA Terminal 2 for the purpose. Sweeper flights and repatriation flights to help foreign nationals return to their home countries are jointly undertaken by the Department of Tourism and the Department of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the embassies.

Meanwhile, government repatriation efforts to bring home overseas Filipino workers  continue.

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