THE country's local carriers have expressed their strong support to the "No Vaccination, No Ride" policy of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to promote safe travel during the ongoing Covid-19 (Omicron) surge.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) and AirAsia Philippines welcomed the DOTr's department order that set new transportation guidelines for fully vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests.
"We laud the DOTr's initiative to help the Filipino public embark on essential travels during the current crisis," said PAL president and COO Gilbert F. Santa Maria, adding, "We assure the public that PAL will do our part to uphold the strictest safety standards and health protocols in our continuing operation of our domestic and international flight network."
PAL Express president Bonifacio U. Sam also expressed support to the DOTr's policy and the Philippine air transport sector "in working to sustain vital air services throughout the country, facilitating the delivery of urgent goods including lifesaving vaccines, and helping our OFWs and overseas Filipinos fly to their home provinces."
PAL operates a network of regular flights from its Manila and Cebu hubs to key cities around the Philippines and internationally to destinations in Asia, North America, Australia and the Middle East.
AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said that "from the onset of the pandemic, AirAsia has always been working closely with the IATF, DOTr and its attached agencies along with medical experts in the implementation of multi-layered approaches to safety in the aviation sector."
The low-cost airline said that beginning January 17, 2022, it will continue to fly fully vaccinated guests from its Manila hub, compliant with the latest travel guidelines set by the respective local government units (LGU) of their destinations.
For non-vaccinated individuals with essential purpose of travel from Metro Manila such as persons with medical conditions that prevent full Covid-19 vaccination will still be allowed to fly, provided that they present a duly signed medical certificate with name and contact details of their physician. Likewise, persons who will provide essential goods and services as evidenced by a duly issued barangay health pass or other appropriate proof that will justify travel will also be accepted during the flight.
"AirAsia Philippines considers this initiative from the DOTr as an effective tool to encourage every Filipino to take the shot, and get an added layer of protection against any emerging Covid-19 variant," Isla added.
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