Chinese carriers voluntarily suspended their direct flights to Aklan, where famed Boracay island is located, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesman Eric Apolonio said.
“Kahapon nagkusa po iyong Chinese carriers na i-inform ang ating airport authorities sa Kalibo na starting yesterday hanggang bukas, wala na silang magiging flights patungong Kalibo,” he told radio DZMM.
(On Thursday, Chinese carriers informed our airport authorities in Kalibo that starting yesterday or Friday, they will no longer have flights going there.)
Kalibo International Airport hosts flights to 21 destinations, 18 of which are Chinese cities, Apolonio said.
Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines said they reduced flights to China in response to the 2019 new coronavirus outbreak. The two are the Philippines’ largest airlines.
Chinese carriers suspend flights to Boracay; Cebu Pacific, PAL, reduce China flights
Cebu Pacific said it would reduce flights between the Philippines, mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau from February 5 to March 29.
Philippine Airlines said Thursday it suspended flights between Kalibo and China’s Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai.
PAL also said it would maintain flights between Manila and Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Jinjiang, Xiamen, Hong Kong, and Macau.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday ordered a travel ban from Hubei, China, where Wuhan City is located. Wuhan is where the new coronavirus strain originated. The order was issued a day after the Department of Health confirmed the first case of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines.
The World Health Organisation has declared the disease a public health emergency late Thursday.
The China virus already killed more than 200 people, infected at least 7,000, and has spread to 18 countries.