MANILA – As more air carriers suspend their operations due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is streamlining its operations by concentrating remaining flights in only one terminal.
The MIAA announced on Thursday that beginning 12:01 a.m. on March 28, the following airlines will be operating to and from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (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 Thursday 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 the announcement after consulting the Airline Operators Council and following the instructions of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to explore ways to minimize the exposure of airport workers while ensuring continuous operations in NAIA.
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has also announced the suspension of international flight operations starting March 26.
On Wednesday, PAL made its last flight out of its MNL-SFO (PR104) and MNL-LAX (PR102). Return flights will be at NAIA Terminal 1 on Friday. After these arrivals, PAL will cease to operate for the time being.
Aside from PAL, other local and foreign airlines have also ceased international flight operations: Cebu Pacific, 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 wing after a ban on domestic air travel was issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Landing and takeoff 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 dreaded coronavirus.
The MIAA’s move to streamline airport operations is a three-pronged approach to support the government in its enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) efforts because less personnel will have to report for work and will be confined to their homes, thus reducing exposure to the virus; reduce cost on utilities by closing down NAIA Terminals 2, 3, and 4; and afford ground-handling companies with a cheaper way of managing their logistics.
A Notice to Airmen has also been issued informing pilots around the world that only NAIA Terminal 1 remains open for the duration of the ECQ.
The MIAA will continue to service 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.
Government efforts to bring home overseas Filipino workers continue. (PR)