Local airlines report 94-percent dive in demand - Aviation Updates Philippines | Latest Philippine aviation news

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Aviation Updates Philippines – A report from The Manila Bulletin revealed the Philippines' major airlines, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, and AirAsia Philippines, suffered from a 94-percent drop in air travel demand in the second quarter of 2020.

The latest figures reported were published by the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP), an organization composed of the three biggest airlines in the country. Prior to the pandemic, the three airlines carried 13.5 million passengers during the same period last year.

ACAP Vice President and Executive Director Robert Lim, in a separate article from The Manila Standard, estimates the financial impact of COVID-19 to about P22 billion for all three airlines combined. From April to May, passenger traffic slowed to 800,000, a significant decrease from last year's millions.

Although the Philippine government has already cleared the resumption of domestic and international flights, airlines still cannot confidently restart its operations given the "uncertainty" of the situation. Local governments have imposed different procedures that vary from province to province.

The lack of a centralized and uniform system, which may have been imposed for varying reasons, have hurt the aviation industry even more. Before every flight, passengers need to present different requirements because of strengthened health and safety measures.

Lim said a "unified and coordinated" policy from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and local governments would be a "welcome development" to the aviation sector.

Photo from JC Pascual

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