MANILA -- A mandatory quarantine for returning crew on flights from Hong Kong and Macau could be a challenge for airlines, a transport official said Wednesday.
The government partially lifted the travel ban to the two Chinese special administrative regions to allow outbound travel for Filipino workers. Arriving passengers and flight crew are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
The mandatory quarantine of flight crew coming from Hong Kong and Macau would "eventually take a toll" on their operations, Manila International Airport general manager Ed Monreal said.
"Local carriers, ang challenge po nila is pag quarantine ng crew. Eventually it would take toll on their operational requirements ...Ang resources ng crew mababawaasan," Monreal said.
(The challenge for local carriers is with the quarantine of crew. It will reduce their resources)
"Kung ganyan po ang proseso na may quarantine medyo mahihirapan sila mag mount ng flights kahit may temporary lifting of flights to Hong Kong," he added.
(If that's the process, with quarantine, it would be a bit difficult to mount flights even though there is a temporary lifting of flights to Hong Kong)
Philippines allows migrant workers to return to Hong Kong, Macau
As of Wednesday, foreign carriers are flying to Hong Kong "on a reduced capacity," Monreal said. Stakeholders and the government could agree on a resolution by the end of the week, he added.
The Philippines has also lifted the travel ban to and from Taiwan.
The global spread of the coronavirus strain that originated from China has reduced international passengers in the Philippines by 16.74 percent from Jan. 25 to Feb. 17, Monreal said. Domestic passengers were cut by 3 percent for the same period, he said.
-- with a report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News