With the ongoing pandemic caused by Covid-19, airlines have been forced to suspend commercial operations as countries imposed lockdown on their territories to contain the virus from spreading.
However, this global crisis prompted the demand for carriers to deliver humanitarian aid to places where it is badly needed.
Heading the call, Cebu Pacific operated an all-cargo flight, carrying food, medicine and vital supplies to various islands across the archipelago.
“We have provided airlift support for government and non-government organizations including Vice President Leni Robredo’s Angat-Buhay program, the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, the Office of Civil Defense, TOWNS Foundation, the Philippine Army, Department of Health, among others – at no cost to the donors, thereby enabling them to use more of their resources for actual goods for beneficiaries,” said the airline’s corporate communications director Charo Logarta-Lagamon.
Lagamon said private organizations have also tapped their cargo services, including Tzu Chi Foundation, which flew in nine tons of medical supplies from Guangzhou, China.
To do so, members of the airlines operations team need to report for duty every day to receive, process and airlift cargo, leaving their homes amidst the quarantine.
“We work closely with the Inter-Agency Task Force and other government agencies along with local government units to ensure that the flights are allowed to operate without hitches,” said Lagamon.
Cebu Pacific utilizes their fleet of Airbus jets and ATR turboprops for their all-cargo flights.
“Cargo has been configured to be safely loaded and secured unto the cabin, aside from the usual belly/cargo hold,” she explained.
On top of that, Cebu Pacific is also utilizing their ATR cargo freighter. The airline is the only carrier in the Philippines with such freighters capable of carrying as much as seven tons of cargo in one uplift.
“This is really an unprecedented time in human history, and certainly one that has seriously challenged a lot of us. We understand the concerns and worries of millions of passengers affected by flight cancellations. We appeal for patience and understanding as we all try to cope with this situation,” Lagamon added.
As of press time, Cebu Pacific has operated over 40 cargo flights between Manila, Cebu, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, Tacloban, Iloilo, and Davao.
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