Taiwanese, Philippine carriers adjust service after travel ban

Tigerair Taiwan, a subsidiary of Taiwan's China Airlines (CAL), said it will cancel all flights to Boracay, Palawan and Cebu on Tuesday. (CNA)
Tigerair Taiwan, a subsidiary of Taiwan's China Airlines (CAL), said it will cancel all flights to Boracay, Palawan and Cebu on Tuesday. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwanese and Philippine carriers operating between the two countries announced adjustments to their flight schedules after the Philippine government extended to Taiwan travel restrictions already imposed on China due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Tigerair Taiwan, a subsidiary of Taiwan’s China Airlines (CAL), said it will cancel all flights to Boracay, Palawan and Cebu on Tuesday.

But the budget airline will continue to operate the return legs from the three Philippine destinations through Feb. 14, the airline said.

All Tigerair Taiwan round-trip flights between the two countries will be canceled between Feb. 15 and March 31, it said.

CAL said all of its flights to the Philippines would operate as usual on Tuesday, as did EVA Airways flights BR281 to Cebu and BR271 to Manila on Tuesday morning.

EVA Air, however, has canceled afternoon flight BR277 to Manila and will move passengers booked on that flight to flight BR261 in the evening.

Meanwhile, all three Philippine carriers operating in Taiwan have decided to cancel their flights between the two countries.

Philippines AirAsia said it has canceled all of its Taiwan-Philippines flights between Tuesday and March 28 in support of the efforts by the Philippine government to manage the risks of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines both said their flights between the two countries were canceled effective Tuesday until further notice.

On Feb. 2, the Philippine government barred entry to all people except for Filipino citizens coming from China, Hong Kong, and Macau or to those who have been to any of those three places in the 14 days preceding arrival.

That temporary ban was extended to Taiwan late Monday night in a clarification issued by the Philippines’ Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), which said Taiwan was included in the ban under Manila’s one-China policy.

According to Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, about 540 tourists in 21 travel groups are currently in the Philippines, and approximately 1,680 tourists in 83 groups will be affected until Feb. 25 by the travel ban.