A Philippine Air Force C-130 cargo plane will start ferrying stranded plane passengers out of Zamboanga City to another airport where they will be accommodated for a trip to Manila, Philippine Airlines said on Friday.
“Starting September 13, 2013 (Friday), C-130 planes of the Philippine Military will ferry the affected passengers from Zamboanga to Mactan-Cebu International Airport. From Cebu, they will be accommodated on regular flights plying the Cebu-Manila route,” PAL said in an advisory.
PAL said some 3,000 passengers from 40 flights were already stranded after the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) ordered for the indefinite closure of Zamboanga International Airport to commercial flights for security reasons.
This was after Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members loyal to Nur Misuari invaded at least six barangays of Zamboanga City and took more than 150 residents as “human shields” since late Sunday night. Intermittent firefights between the rebels and government security forces have been reported since.
PAL added that passengers of the government ferry flights will be provided food and drinks at the Mactan International Airport’s pre-departure area.
On Wednesday, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd requested PAL’s Ramon Ang, and Cebu Pacific’s Lance Gokongwei to accommodate stranded passengers with valid plane tickets from Zamboanga to Manila. PNA