Passengers stand airline counters as they check the flights at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Philippines, February 4, 2020. (Photo: AP)
The Philippines will resume domestic flights starting on June 1 as the country starts further loosening coronavirus lockdown in its capital Manila and some other parts of the country, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) said on Saturday.
However, most of the international flights "will not be happening in the immediate future" due to the travel bans imposed around the world in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, NAIA said in an advisory.
Philippine Airlines, the country's flag carrier, on Saturday announced that it will partially resume international and domestic flights from June, including those from Manila to China's Xiamen, Hong Kong and Taipei.
The same day, Cebu Pacific Air announced that the company will resume domestic flights starting June 2, with international flights continued to be suspended till the end of the month.
Air, sea and land travel were restricted in mid-March after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte imposed a lockdown in Metro Manila, which was later expanded to other parts of the country.
On Thursday, Duterte said restrictions in Metro Manila will be further eased from June 1, allowing most businesses and transport to reopen despite a steady rise of coronavirus cases in the country. Also, the government has urged its citizens to avoid taking flights for leisure travel and face masks are mandatory while on board.
The Philippines now has 17,224 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 950 deaths and 3,808 recoveries.