Air Travel Picking Up in Philippines as Virus Curbs Ease
(Bloomberg) -- Air travel in the Philippines is seeing signs of recovery as local restrictions on movement are relaxed, even as the country remain shut off to foreign tourists.
Cebu Air Inc., which has resumed hiring cabin crew, is now flying at nearly 40% of its domestic capacity and targets to hit more than half in December, President Lance Gokongwei said in a mobile-phone message. In September, he told a business forum that the nation’s largest budget carrier was operating at 15% capacity, without elaborating whether it was just for local or total.
Philippine Airlines Inc. said it’s now operating about 120 local and international flights a day, or 40% of its pre-pandemic regular flight frequencies. The carrier, owned by tycoon Lucio Tan, is building up its network in anticipation of a surge in travel as the nation’s health situation improves, it said on Tuesday.
The Southeast Asian nation on Tuesday reported 849 new cases, its lowest daily tally this year. With over a third of the adult population fully vaccinated, movement curbs in the capital have been loosened, and the government is banking on locals to jump-start the recovery of its tourism sector. Still, it lags neighbors in reopening to foreign tourists.
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