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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Local commercial airlines operating flights to and from Zamboanga City have been cancelled on Monday, September 9, as rebels and military forces engage in a firefight.
Initially, PAL Express’ flights to Zamboanga City were still a go on Monday morning, but the airline later announced it is not flying there until further notice.
PAL Express, a unit of legacy carrier Philippine Airlines, cancelled the following flights:
- 2P245 – Zamboanga-Jolo, depart 10 am
- 2P273 – Davao-Zamboanga, depart 1:50 pm
- 2P272 – Zamboanga-Davao, depart 12:15 pm
- 2P242 – Zamboanga-Cebu, depart 3:30 pm
“All remaining PAL flights operating in and out of Zamboanga today are cancelled to ensure the safety of its passengers amid the ongoing security concerns in the city,” PAL said in an advisory.
“The cancelled PAL Express flights are Manila-Zamboanga-Manila scheduled for tonight and flights bound for Jolo, Davao and Cebu,” it added.
Cebu Pacific flights
Rival Cebu Pacific cancelled their Zamboanga-Tawi-Tawi flights earlier, too, citing “the current security situation in Zamboanga.
It cancelled 3 roundtrip and two one-way flights:
- 5J840 Tawi-Tawi-Zamboanga
- 5J434 Zamboanga-Cebu
- 5J857/858 Manila-Zamboanga-Manila
- 5J855/856 Manila-Zamboanga-Manila
- 5J393/394 Davao-Zamboanga-Davao
Both PAL Expres and Cebu Pacific said all their affected passengers may arrange for a rebooking or refund.
“We’re applying the force majeure policy,” Cebu Pacific spokesperson Candice Iyog told Rappler.
This means the airline’s affected passengers may “rebook their flights for travel within 30 days from original departure date with no penalties, or opt for full travel fund or full refund.”
Flights are usually cancelled due to weather issues, but one of the times Cebu Pacific suspended flights due to peace-and-order issues was in 2010. Flights between Manila and Bangkok were suspended during the standoff between Thai forces and supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. – Rappler.com