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Airbus A320 allowed to resume flights to Tacloban

Cabin crew do final checks as passengers board the first A320 flight from Manila to Tacloban on Thursday. (photo by Eric B. Apolonio,
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- Airlines have been given the green light by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to resume flights to Tacloban City with Airbus A320 jets that can carry more passengers to and from the devastated capital of Leyte.

CAAP deputy director general Captain John C. Andrews also said Cebu Pacific and PalExpress have forged a temporary arrangement on Thursday allowing passengers to use their tickets to board any of the two airlines’ Tacloban-Manila flights as long as seats are available.

The first A320 to fly to Tacloban, PalExpress flight 2P 971, took off from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 at 12 noon and was scheduled to arrive 1:20 p.m. Its return flight, 2P 972 was scheduled to leave Tacloban at 1:20 p.m. and arrive in Manila 3:10.

PalExpress will mount the same round-trip flight on Friday.

The carrier also operates 10 round-trip flights daily between Cebu and Tacloban using turboprop aircraft.

Cebu Pacific will also mount one daily Manila-Tacloban-Manila A320 flight Thursday and Friday and operate four flights a day between Cebu and Tacloban using an ATR aircraft until November 25.  

The first Cebu-Tacloban-Cebu flight will be reserved for passengers affected by flight cancellations caused by super typhoon “Yolanda” and for humanitarian purposes.

Meanwhile, Andrews announced that on Wednesday night, the US military helped install runway lights at the Tacloban airport that will allow 10 flights of American C130 aircraft to deliver relief goods each night.