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PAL cancels Riyadh, Dammam flights

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines has announced the cancellation of select Riyadh and Dammam flights in Saudi Arabia in response to the Kingdom’s travel restrictions.

In an advisory, PAL said flights between Manila and Riyadh are canceled on Aug. 13, 14, 16, 20, and 21.

Likewise, operations between Manila and Dammam are canceled on Aug. 16, 17, and 22.

From Aug. 11 to 22, regular flights to and from the two cities will continue on dates not included above. However, flights coming from Riyadh and Dammam could only cater to 186 passengers per flight, to comply with the limitations on the number of passengers allowed.

Outbound flights from Manila to both cities are allowed to carry a full load of passengers, according to PAL.

“We reiterate our urgent appeal to the Saudi and Philippine authorities to work towards resolving the issue on flight and capacity restrictions so that we may again be able to operate our full schedule of flights to and from Riyadh and Dammam and make use of all our seats on board each flight, for the best interests of our passengers,” the advisory read.

Affected passengers may refund or rebook their tickets. They can also opt to convert their ticket to a travel voucher.

PAL said it was unable to contact a number of passengers “possibly due to erroneous contact details or transmission problems”.

It is urging Manila-bound passengers from Riyadh and Dammam to regularly check PAL’s website and social media pages. Booking status can be checked by calling (632) 8855-8888, the PAL said.


Meanwhile, three chartered flights funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs brought home a total of 1,083 Filipinos to Davao, Cebu, and Manila yesterday.

At least 387 repatriates from Oman arrived in Davao City and were followed by another 346 on board a PAL flight that landed from the United Arab Emirates to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at around 8 a.m.

The third and final chartered flight Philippine Airlines PR8657 arrived in Cebu City from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in the afternoon, carrying 350 passengers.

“It is always a good day when we get to bring home as many of our kababayans home. Today is special having mounted three chartered flights. It means more Filipinos are safe here at home, with their families and their loved ones,” DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola said.

The latest arrivals bring to 19 the total number of DFA chartered repatriation flights since June 2021.

The DFA said another 10 repatriation flights are scheduled for this month and additional flights will be mounted in succeeding months.

Arriola, meanwhile, appealed to the repatriates to strictly observe and comply with the quarantine procedures prescribed by the government as cases continue to rise in the country.

She extended her gratitude to the cities of Davao and Cebu for allowing the repatriation flights at their respective airports and for providing the quarantine facilities.

“If not for their generosity, the DFA could not have mounted these much-needed repatriation flights from the Middle East,” she said.

The Filipino repatriates went through RT-PCR tests for Covid-19 upon arrival and were also briefed on quarantine protocols and procedures before transferring to designated facilities for mandatory quarantine.

As of this posting, there are over two million overseas Filipinos in the Middle East, including 865,121 in Saudi Arabia, 648,929 in the UAE, and 52,760 in Oman.

The DFA said the Philippine embassies and consulates around the world remain fully committed to bringing distressed Filipino nationals back to the Philippines amid the ongoing health crisis.*PNA

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March 2023

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