(Photo courtesy of Manila International Airport Authority)

MANILA – AirAsia Philippines will resume flights to/from Singapore and Hong Kong in December, but only for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and business travelers.
 
"The resumption of these flights is still limited to essential travel. We are hoping that as Covid-19 cases continue to go down, and with the ongoing progress in the vaccination program, leisure travel will be allowed and border restrictions will be lifted among Filipinos towards the first quarter of 2022," AirAsia Philippines spokesperson Steve Dailisan told the Philippine News Agency.

Beginning Dec. 4, its weekly Manila-Singapore flight will depart Manila every Saturday at 8:00 a.m while a return flight will depart Changi Airport at 12:25 p.m.

On the other hand, a bi-weekly Manila-Hong Kong flight is scheduled on Sundays beginning December 5 at 8:35 a.m. The return flight will leave Hong Kong at 11:55 a.m. and is expected to land in Manila at 2 p.m.

Passengers bound for Hong Kong must present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test taken within 72 hours prior to the flight schedule (including documentary proofs that the laboratory or healthcare institution is ISO 15189 accredited or government-recognized).

They are also required to present a vaccination record recognized by the government of Hong Kong; a confirmation of room reservation in a designated quarantine hotel (DQH) or designated quarantine facility (DQF) for not less than 21 nights.

Further, they are required to undergo testing for Covid-19 upon arrival in Hong Kong.

On the other hand, those bound for Singapore must present a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 48 hours prior to flight schedule and are required to undergo RT-PCR test upon arrival in Singapore.

Moreover, they must observe a 10-day stay-home notice (SHN) and take an antigen rapid test on Days 3 and 7 of SHN. An RT-PCR test must be taken on day 10 of SHN.

Effective Nov. 1, all Work Pass holders, Student’s Pass holders, their dependents, and holders of an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter must be fully vaccinated upon entering Singapore. They are also required to submit the Singapore Arrival Card (SGAC) with Electronic Health Declaration (eHDC) before arrival.

Meanwhile, since Hong Kong is under the green list countries, fully vaccinated passengers bound for the Philippines will no longer be required to undergo quarantine but will be asked to submit a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to their flight.

Fully vaccinated travelers coming from Singapore which is under the yellow list will be required to undergo a five-day quarantine until the release of their RT-PCR test. They will then be allowed to finish their quarantine at home.

All passengers arriving in the Philippines should download the Traze Contact Tracing App. Unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or individuals whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated, and those vaccinated but failed to comply with the test-before-travel requirements, shall undergo 14 days of quarantine, six of which shall be observed at an accredited hotel or facility, and the remaining days to be completed at their home.

Dailisan said that while AirAsia Philippines remains to be cautiously optimistic in the resumption of international flights, it is fully embracing post-pandemic recovery.

Servicing Hong Kong and Singapore routes are crucial to opening other key markets in the Asean region, he remarked.

"By this time, we believe that AirAsia guests have already imbibed the culture of safety. This is very important as we fly to a 'better normal'. We can’t let our guards down but we can now put behind our worries in traveling because multi-layered approaches to safety are in place and will be strictly observed across all touchpoints," Dailisan said. (PNA)