Manila's Terminal 3 to reopen on July 8 to handle increase in international flights
Emirates and other airlines flying to the Philippines can now use Terminal 3 in the capital
The Philippines will reopen another terminal at Manila's main airport this week as the country welcomes an increased number of international flights.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila will restart international flight operations at Terminal 3 on Wednesday, July 8.
The move is designed to reduce congestion at Terminal 1, which has been the only hub in operation in the capital since authorities suspended most land, sea and air operations to the country in March.
With Covid-19 restrictions easing, more airlines are flying to the Philippines. This increase in international services is "affecting social / physical distancing among users", notes Elenita Fernando, senior assistant general manager at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Airlines that temporarily moved to Terminal 1 in March "are directed to return and resume flight operations at Terminal 3, effective July 8", adds Fernanda.
Emirates typically uses Terminal 3 at the Manila airport. Its lounge partner is also located in the same terminal, and it is expected the airline will move operations back there. The National has contacted the airline for confirmation.
Cebu Pacific, KLM, Cathay Pacific, Philippine Airlines and All Nippon regularly use Terminal 3 and are set to do so again from Wednesday, July 8. Many other airlines will continue to fly out of Terminal 1.
International tourism still prohibited
Travel is still restricted in and out of the Philippines, with only domestic tourism in some parts of the country having restarted. International passenger flights are restricted to travellers returning home or those with special exemptions.
Filipinos are currently barred from leaving the country amid the coronavirus pandemic, with travel prohibited for any “non-essential” reasons.
Repatriation, cargo, humanitarian and limited commercial flights are operating in and out of Manila.
There has been congestion at Manila airport throughout the past few months due to people returning home at a high rate and then needing to quarantine. Authorities closed down the airport for a week-long period in May to allow time to process arriving passengers.
Travellers should also reconfirm travel plans before flying as some airlines have diverted Manila-bound flights to Cebu, about 500 kilometres away, in a bid to ease congestion.
All passengers arrivingin the Philippines must take a Covid-19 test and pay for an approved hotel to quarantine in while results are processed.
Updated: July 6, 2020 04:00 PM