MANILA – A total of 248 Filipino crew members of the MSC Divina have returned from Miami in the United States, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported Friday.
The repatriation came as the cruise industry continues to reel from the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
The MSC Cruises, the manning agency of MSC Divina, chartered the flight that brought the repatriates from the non-Covid-19-infected ship home.
The special flight landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 at 6 a.m.
The DFA said the seafarers were subjected to a mandatory medical inspection before they were allowed to disembark and head to a quarantine facility.
The 248 seafarers form the first batch of repatriates scheduled to arrive on April 3.
“The DFA and its partner agencies commit to a whole-of-government approach in providing assistance to overseas Filipinos amidst the Covid-19 pandemic,” the department said.
On April 2, the DFA also facilitated the return of 900 Filipino seafarers of the Norwegian Dawn and Star, and MSC Armonia, Meraviglia, Seaside, and Divina Cruise ships from Miami, Florida.
Two separate batches of repatriates also returned on Thursday, including 123 crew members of the Marella Celebration and MV World Odyssey from Spain and 79 seafarers of the Carnival Pride, Carnival Panorama, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Breeze, and MS World Odyssey from Miami, Florida. (PNA)