By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior reporter
FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) and budget carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) said Thursday they are closely monitoring the situation in Taiwan following its announcement of an airspace closure from Aug. 4 to 7.
“We are closely monitoring the situation in Taiwan. We have received the notice to airmen from the Taiwanese aviation authorities regarding a specific airspace closure from 12:00 a.m. on August 4 to 12:00 a.m. on August 7,” PAL spokesman Cielo C. Villaluna said in a phone message.
“Our flights to and from Taipei today, August 4 – PR890/892 – operated as scheduled using a designated approved flight route,” she added.
PAL also assured customers that regular coordination is being carried out with the authorities in Taiwan.
“Our flights to and from Taipei on August 5, Friday, will proceed as scheduled. We will be rerouting to avoid restricted airspace. This is made possible through PAL’s coordination efforts with the Taiwanese aviation authorities,” said Ms. Villaluna.
The flag carrier’s regular flight schedule to and from Taipei is three times a week, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Meanwhile, budget carrier Cebu Pacific said in a separate statement: “We are currently only accommodating essential travel between Manila and Taipei, Taiwan on a flight once a week (every Wednesday).”
“We are monitoring the situation, but there are no changes to our network at this time,” it added.
According to reports on Wednesday, Taiwan was negotiating with neighboring Japan and the Philippines to find alternative aviation routes.
China has previously announced exercises that the trade-dependent island said amounted to a “blockade”.
The administration of Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said it is “closely monitoring” China’s moves in light of a US lawmaker’s visit to Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory. — with Reuters