MANILA – Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is hopeful that the resumption of non-essential travel beginning Oct. 21 will boost passenger demand, spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said on Monday.
During the Laging Handa public briefing, Villaluna said PAL is currently operating 15 to 20 percent of its normal frequencies. 
"We used to operate 250-280 flights a day (pre-pandemic). Then, it has reached 15 percent of that, and now it's at 15-20 percent. It (frequencies) is gradually increasing. We are hoping that the percentage would increase. We anticipate passenger demand, (considering the) latest development," she said.
Those traveling abroad would have to present at the check-in counter roundtrip tickets, travel and health insurance, written declaration acknowledging the risks in traveling, and a negative antigen test.
PAL flies to the United States, Middle East, London, and Asia Pacific.
"There is an ongoing pilot testing of the efficacy of antigen test. If by Oct. 21 there is no announcement (regarding this), we will see if the RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test result can be accepted. We will keep everyone posted," she added.
Only essential travel is currently allowed.
Meanwhile, Villaluna said PAL hopes that the number of domestic passengers will also increase. 
Travel to Boracay, for instance, has been allowed by the government since Oct. 1.
Villaluna reminded passengers bound for Caticlan they are required to have a negative RT-PCR test 72 hours before the flight, health declaration form, and a confirmed booking in a Department of Tourism-accredited hotel.
PAL is implementing physical distancing inside the aircraft whenever the situation permits, she said. (PNA)