Special commercial flight manned by fully-vaccinated crew members.
The Philippines’ largest national flag carrier, Cebu Pacific (CEB), on July 30, safely brought home 339 Filipinos via Bayanihan (a Filipino word that best describes uniting as a community) flight 5J 27 from Dubai to Manila, in response to the government’s call for assistance to repatriate workers in the Middle East as travel ban remains in effect.
The special commercial flight was staffed by fully-vaccinated pilots and cabin crew. In command of the flight was Captain Mark Ramos, assisted by First Officer Carlo Erik Castaneda. A 10-person cabin crew was deployed to assist the passengers during the flight, headed by Lead Cabin Crew Ma. Felicidad Arquiza.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to be able to fly our kababayans (compatriots) home whilst tight restrictions are in place. We understand their need to get home to their loved ones safely amidst the pandemic, that is why we have collaborated with stakeholders for this ‘Bayanihan’ flight,” said Alex Reyes, Chief Strategy Officer at Cebu Pacific.
Upon arrival, the passengers will stay for 14 days in a pre-booked, accredited facility-based quarantine. They will undergo RT-PCR test after seven days.
The cost of quarantine accommodation and testing for land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be shouldered by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA); whilst the Philippine Port Authority will cover the cost for sea-based OFWs. Non-OFWs will have to pay for their own quarantine hotel and RT-PCR test.
On July 31, CEB will also fly home 400 Filipinos from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Philippine Embassy of Abu Dhabi and the Philippine Consulate of Dubai, via 5J 11.
CEB operates the widest domestic network in the Philippines covering 31 destinations, on top of its five (5) international destinations. Its 74-strong fleet, one of the youngest in the world, includes two (2) dedicated ATR freighters and one (1) A330 freighter.