aviation industry

Hong Kong bans PAL flights until September 11 over COVID-19 cases

Aika Rey

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Hong Kong bans PAL flights until September 11 over COVID-19 cases

BANNED. A Philippine Airlines aircraft.

Philippine Airlines via Airbus

Philippine Airlines says three of its passengers, who tested positive for COVID-19 in Hong Kong, presented negative test results in Manila

Hong Kong is banning Philippine Airlines (PAL) flights for two weeks until September 11, after passengers from Manila were confirmed to have COVID-19.

China Daily Asia reported on Sunday, August 29, that Hong Kong health authorities banned PAL, along with Turkish Airlines, from August 29 to September 11.

Three passengers from PAL flight PR300 tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, August 27.

In a statement on Monday, August 30, the flag carrier said it will comply with the restriction. Hong Kong-bound flights will still operate but on an all-cargo basis.

“Please note that all our three passengers (two Filipinos and one Chinese national) presented negative COVID-19 test results when they checked in for their PR300 flights,” PAL said.

PAL added that Hong Kong-Manila flights will still operate every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

“We consistently comply with industry and regulatory safety protocols in the Philippines and abroad. We assure the flying public that strict safety measures are in place to protect our passengers throughout the journey on all our flights,” the airline said.

PAL reiterated that each of its planes has high-efficiency particulate air or HEPA filters for cabin airflow and that crew members wear full personal protective equipment.

“Every aircraft surface is also sanitized and disinfected after every flight,” it said.

Hong Kong earlier said it would not accept the vaccination cards of travelers coming from the Philippines. But it eventually allowed vaccinated overseas Filipino workers to enter starting Monday.

PAL said on Monday that those affected by the ban may rebook, refund, or convert their tickets into a travel voucher. Currently, Cebu Pacific flies to Hong Kong every Wednesday and Thursday, while Cathay Pacific also has Manila-Hong Kong flights every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.