Philippine Air Travel Uncertain Amidst Typhoon Hagupit

As Typhoon Hagupit, locally known as "Ruby," entered the Philippines, more than 2,000 travellers remained stranded in Manila and other parts of the country as air travel was suspended. Both Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, the nation's largest airlines, cancelled flights to the central and southern Philippines over the weekend.

Image Source: BBC News
The majority of flights suspended affected travellers bound for the Visayas and Mindanao. Cebu Pacific affiliate, Tigerair Philippines, also announced that it would be suspending its flights. Typhoon Hagupit entered the Philippines with wind speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour.

Six airports in Bicol and the Eastern Visayas were closed by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines prior to the landfall of Typhoon Hagupit. According to Rodante Joya, Deputy Director General of CAAP, the airports have all been secured in preparation for the wrath of the typhoon.

The Civil Aviation Authority shut down airports in Tacloban, Calbayog, Legazpi, Catarman, Masbate, and Calbayog. Communication equipment was covered in order to protect it from the heavy rains, while fire trucks at the airports were moved to safer locations. The aviation regulator says that all airports will be inspected to ensure the safety of aircraft and passengers before being restored to normal operation.

Areas of Bicol and the Eastern Visayas remain under storm signals as the typhoon makes its way across the country. Although Typhoon Hagupit is not expected to be as strong as Typhoon Haiyan, experts say that the typhoon has the potential to do more damage as its slower speed could cause it to remain over land for a much longer period. Hagupit has been travelling at 13 kilometers per hour, compared to Haiyan that travelled at nearly 40 kilometers per hour.

Passengers that have upcoming flights to any of the affected regions are advised to contact their airline directly for the latest up to date flight information and to confirm details for cancellations, refunds, and rebookings.

Flight Status Information:

Cebu Pacific - Tel: (632) 702-0888

Philippine Airlines - Tel : (632) 855-8888

Tigerair Philippines - Tel: (632) 798-4499

AirAsia Zest - Tel: (632) 742-2742

SkyJet Airlines - Tel: (632) 863-1333

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