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PAL to rescue passengers stranded due to coronavirus outbreak

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Aviation Updates Philippines – Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced on Wednesday (February 5) that it will be mounting special flights to and from Xiamen, China on February 10 to rescue stranded passengers whose flights were cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

SPECIAL FLIGHTS. Philippine Airlines (PAL) will be mounting special flights on February 10 using its 199-seater Airbus A321 aircraft. Photo by Alan Wilson.
According to PAL, the inbound flight from Xiamen will allow Filipino citizens and holders of Philippine permanent resident visas to fly back to the Philippines, while the outbound flight from Manila will allow Chinese and other non-Filipino nationals to fly back to mainland China.

PAL said that it intends to use one of its 199-seater Airbus A321 aircraft for this mission, which will be staffed by volunteer pilots and cabin crew.

Flight PR 334 will depart from Manila at 7:30 am and will arrive in Xiamen at 9:55 am. The return flight, PR 335, will depart from Xiamen at 11:05 am and will arrive in Manila at 1:50 pm.

The airline noted, however, that these special flights are still subject to final government approvals, including the waiver of the Filipino travel ban for its volunteer pilots and cabin crew, who will then have to subject themselves to a 14-day home quarantine upon their return to the Philippines.

PAL added that 64 of its crew members are currently undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine after arriving from China prior to the travel ban.

PAL and other local carriers were forced to suspended flights to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau on February 2 after the Philippine government ordered a travel ban preventing Filipinos and foreigners from traveling to and from these three areas.

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