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PAL, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia resume flights to Taiwan after gov't lifts travel ban

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Airlines are resuming flights between Manila and Taipei after the inter-agency task force (IATF) handling the novel coronavirus crisis decided to lift the travel ban on Taiwan on Friday, February 14.

Philippine government officials only announced the travel ban on Monday, February 10, prompting Cebu Pacific to cancel its Taiwan flights. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines said Taiwan was "wrongly included" in the ban. 

After the IATF recognized Taiwan's strict measures and protocols in addressing the virus, the ban was lifted on Friday.

Cebu Pacific then announced that the following flights to or from Taipei will resume:

Monday, February 17-until further notice

Tuesday, February 18-until further notice

Friday, February 21-until further notice

According to Cebu Pacific, passengers booked on these flights who have not availed of a refund or travel fund will depart as scheduled.

For concerns on rebooked flights between Taipei and Manila, passengers may contact Cebu Pacific through its Facebook and Twitter accounts, or its website for assistance. 

For Philippine Airlines (PAL), the following flight schedules to and from the Taipei Taoyuan International Airport will be followed starting February 21:

PR890/891 Manila-Taipei-Manila

The PR890 flight will depart from Manila at 6:05 am and arrive in Taipei at 8:30 am. Meanwhile, PR891 will depart from Taipei at 9:30 am and arrive in Manila at 11:40 am.

Starting March 29, the standard regular schedule of twice daily flights (PR890/891 and PR895/895) will take effect.

Passengers who were booked on the canceled Manila-Taipei and Taipei-Manila flights may now book on the restored flights, while those with other concerns may contact their travel agent or the PAL website, ticket office, or hotline at (02) 8855-8888.

PAL passengers in Taipei may contact PAL Taipei Reservations at 02-2506-7255 or 8862-2506-7255.

AirAsia also announced on Monday, February 17, that it is resuming select flights from Manila to Taipei and Kaohsiung starting Thursday, February 20.

More flights from AirAsia hubs in Manila, Clark, Cebu, and Kalibo will gradually resume in phases by February 24, February 25, March 1, and March 30.

The novel coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China, has killed at least 1,765 and infected 70,400 people.

In the Philippines, there are 3 confirmed cases, so far. Two of the cases have since recovered, while one died after developing severe pneumonia. – Rappler.com