AirAsia Philippines is in strong support of the calls of local government units to scrap the use of negative RT-PCR tests as travel requirements for incoming visitors who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Majority of the Local Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) still requires the submission of a negative RT-PCR test result before entry to their provinces as part of the measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
However, during a dialogue with Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, other local government units such as Palawan, Aklan and Cebu pushed for lesser restrictions and a more simplified entry requirement for fully vaccinated travelers. The provincial government of Bohol meanwhile said vaccine cards must be fully authenticated to allow mobility of vaccinated tourists.
AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said, “AirAsia is 100% behind our LGUs in calling for a more relaxed travel restriction and requirement for fully vaccinated individuals to lessen the cost of air travel. It is also one way to incentivize those who took the shot and encourage more to do the same.
“It’s Christmas season in the Philippines, and after almost two years of not being able to travel due to the pandemic, Filipinos would surely want to spend time with family in the provinces or just simply enjoy the beach and the sun in the many leisure destinations in the country,” Isla added.
The City Government of Tacloban thru EO 2021-07-028 was among the first to successfully implement the use of vaccination cards in lieu of testing requirements for returning residents and tourists. Other LGUs such as Dumaguete, Cotabato, Guimaras and Butuan followed suit in accepting tourists.
To date, Tacloban has vaccinated around 100,000 individuals, 54,437 of which received their full dose of the vaccine.
AirAsia for its part is integrating the health travel icon on its Super App with the Department of Health’s (DOT) VaxCertPH which will make travel seamless for accepting LGUS.
“We are in the final stages of integration and once completed we shall roll out the health travel icon on the airasia Super App for easy vaccination verification among LGU’s who would accept fully vaccinated individuals. This definitely will hasten the recovery of not only the airline industry but the tourism sector as a whole,” Isla added.
AirAsia Philippines is also pushing for a shortened 5-day to zero quarantine period for fully vaccinated international travelers. Mr. Isla who is also the President of the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) said this move will also entice more travelers from the U.S. and other European countries to reconsider their plans of visiting the Philippines.
Safety of staff and guests is always the top priority for AirAsia Group, which was one of the first airlines worldwide to achieve the top 7/7 rating for being Covid-19 safe by the aviation experts at Airlineratings.com. Over recent times the airline has implemented numerous contactless procedures including during check-in, boarding, inflight and baggage collection. Furthermore, 100% of AirAsia Philippines’ flight crew and ground staff are already vaccinated against COVID-19 so guests can be assured of the highest safety and hygiene standards at all times.
AirAsia Philippines believes that providing a more relaxed restriction and the utilization of vaccination cards as single entry-document for fully vaccinated individuals will allow more businesses to open and allow the economy to slowly recover.
Meanwhile, AirAsia PH was recently certified by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines as a Dangerous Goods carrier. This means that the air carrier is now certified to carry onboard its flights regulated goods such as dry ice (which is used in transporting vaccines), electronic gadgets, e-commerce items, lithium batteries, as well as cadavers. This means entrepreneurs can now transport more products at more reasonable rates.