Entry into Cebu in the Philippines from Dubai has been restricted only to Cebuano Overseas Filipino Workers and returning Filipinos, according to a travel advisory from Emirates Airline.
As of Thursday, entry into the province will be restricted, as per a directive from local authorities.
“No other nationality is permitted to travel on these flights,” said Emirates.
“If you need to change your booking and you booked through a travel agent please contact them. If you booked directly with Emirates please contact your local Emirates office."
The move is in response to skyrocketing hotel rates, as Cebu residents, who do not have access to electricity and water after Typhoon Rai, dominate bookings, according to local news website Rappler.
“Our hotels are already full. Why? Because our own Cebuanos – because there is no electricity and there is no water – those that can afford are going to the hotels,” said Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Monday.
Dubai to Cebu flights cancelled
Earlier this week, Mactan-Cebu International Airport was closed owing to severe weather caused by the typhoon and operations were suspended "until further notice", according to GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation.
"We are closely co-ordinating with the different government agencies and airline partners regarding announcements on the resumption of flights," it said. "We urge all passengers to stay at home until the resumption of flights are announced."
In the UAE, Cebu Pacific had to cancel flights from Dubai and Emirates also had to cancel a stop in Cebu.
"As for flights to other points in the Philippines, they’re operating as normal," an Emirates representative told The National on Wednesday.
Etihad Airways, the UAE's national airline, does not fly to Cebu.