PAL, CEB ‘monitoring’ Taiwan airspace closure note

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) and budget carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) said on Thursday that they are closely monitoring the situation in Taiwan after 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 Taiwan aviation authorities regarding a specific airspace closure from 12 p.m., August 4, to 12 p.m., August 7,” PAL Spokesperson Cielo C. Villaluna said in a phone message.

“Our flight to and from Taipei today August 4 — PR890/892 — operated as scheduled utilizing a designated cleared flight routing,” she added.

PAL also assured customers that regular coordination is being carried out with Taiwan authorities.

“Our flight to and from Taipei on Aug.5, Friday, will proceed as scheduled. We will carry out flight rerouting to avoid restricted airspace. This is made possible via PAL’s coordination efforts with Taiwan aviation authorities,” Ms. Villaluna said.

The flag carrier’s regular flight schedule to and from Taipei is thrice weekly, every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Meanwhile, budget carrier Cebu Pacific said in a separate statement: “We currently only accommodate essential travel between Manila and Taipei, Taiwan on a once weekly flight (every Wednesday).”

“We are monitoring the situation but there are no changes in our network as of now,” it added.

According to reports on Wednesday, Taiwan was negotiating with neighboring Japan and the Philippines to find alternative aviation routes.

China previously announced drills that the trade-reliant island said amounted to a “blockade.”

Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s administration said it was “closely monitoring” China’s moves in light of a United States lawmaker’s visit to Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory. — with Reuters