Philippine Airlines announced Tuesday the resumption of regular direct international flights for Filipinos abroad to facilitate their travel to the country.The flag carrier welcomed Resolution No. 85 of the Inter Agency Task Force on Infectious Disease allowing the visa-free entry of ‘balikbayans’ effective Dec. 7, 2020.The visa-free privilege also applies to foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals, provided they travel with the Filipino nationals.“We are ready to do our part to serve our ‘balikbayans’ and perk up the Philippine tourism industry to help sustain Filipino jobs and livelihoods,” PAL said.“Travelers from the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and much of Asia will get to enjoy PAL’s nonstop flights to the Philippines, designed for a safe travel experience that avoids connecting via other countries, and offering strong health and safety measures to protect our passengers,” it said.Balikbayans and overseas Filipinos may choose from a wide range of regular PAL flights each week such as Los Angeles-Manila (up to six flights a week), San Francisco-Manila (up to four flights a week), New York-Manila (two flights a week), Honolulu-Manila (up to two flights weekly) and Guam-Manila (up to two flights weekly).PAL will also operate between Toronto and Manila (weekly) and Vancouver-Manila (two flights weekly).
Other international flights include London (Heathrow)-Manila (up to two flights weekly), Sydney- Manila (Dec. 6, 10 and 19), Melbourne-Manila (Dec. 6 and 19), Brisbane- Manila (Dec. 10), Auckland-Manila (Dec. 18) and Port Moresby-Manila (Dec. 20).The airline will also start flying Singapore-Manila (daily), Kuala Lumpur-Manila (weekly), Jakarta-Manila (twice weekly), Tokyo Haneda- Manila (four flights weekly), Tokyo Narita-Manila (daily flights), Fukuoka- Manila (three flights weekly), Osaka Kansai- Manila (daily flights), Nagoya-Manila (four flights weekly), Hong Kong-Manila (daily flights) and Taipei- Manila (three flights weekly).For the Middle East, PAL will fly Dubai-Manila (five flights weekly), Dammam-Manila (five flights weekly), Riyadh- Manila (daily flights) and Doha-Manila (two flights weekly).“The flag carrier observes the highest safety standards in all phases of the travel experience. Our HEPA filters disinfect cabin air of bacteria and viruses with 99.99% efficacy. Our cabin crew wear protective gear throughout the flight. We carry out intensive disinfection of aircraft surfaces before and after every flight,” said PAL.For passengers arriving in the Philippines who are non-OFWs, PAL established a one stop shop testing center for the mandatory RT-PCR tests at NAIA Terminal 2, for a lower charge of P4,000, with test results released within 12 to 24 hours.OFWs will be swabbed by the government testing center at the airport, free of charge as the cost will be shouldered by the government.