MANILA, Feb 15, 2020, PhilStar. Air carriers Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines on Friday announced the resumption of flights between the Philippines and Taiwan after the controversial travel ban imposed on the latter in response to the COVID-19 outbreak was lifted the same day, The Philippine Star reported.
Both carriers provided flight schedules between Manila and Taipei as well as other instructions for affected passengers.
PAL will operate the following schedule to and from Taipei Taoyuan International Airport starting February 21.
- PR890/891 Manila-Taipei-Manila (every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday until the end of February; daily starting March)
- PR890 to depart Manila at 6:05 a.m. and arrive in Taipei at 8:30 a.m.
- PR891 to depart Taipei at 9:30 a.m. and arrive in Manila at 11:40 a.m.
Meanwhile, budget carrier CebuPac released the following schedule.
- 5J 310 Manila-Taipei which departs at 10:40 p.m.(starting February 17 until further notice)
- 5J 311 Taipei-Manila which departs at 1:45 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and 2:15 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays (starting February 18 until further notice)
- 5J 312 Manila-Taipei which departs at 7:05 a.m. (starting February 21 until further notice)
- 5J 310 Manila-Taipei which departs at 10:40 p.m. (starting February 21 until further notice)
- 5J 311 Taipei-Manila which departs at 1:45 a.m. (starting February 21 until further notice)
- 5J 313 Taipei-Manila which departs at 10:45 a.m. (starting February 21 until further notice)
The Department of Tourism has since welcomed the country’s lifting of the travel ban.
“The lifting of the travel ban on Taiwan is highly assuring and we hope that the [COVID-19] crisis would soon be resolved, worldwide. Ultimately, the recovery of all affected countries is a universal prayer, especially that tourism is an inclusive and sustainable business for and of the people,” the Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a release.
Taiwan is consistently one of the Philippines’ top sources of international tourist arrivals, bringing close to 230,000 visitors annually between 2016 and 2018, according to data from the Department of Trade and Industry.
At least 5% or one in every 20 overseas Filipino workers are also based in Taiwan, according to the 2017 Survey on Overseas Filipinos by the Philippine Statistics Authority.