Cebu Pacific and PAL have heeded President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to ferry (Overseas Filipino Workers), Kuwait OFWs who wish to be repatriated, following the recent death of an OFW whose body was found inside a freezer.
The President made the request on Friday at a press conference in Davao, where he expressed disgust over the death of a Filipina domestic worker later identified as Joana Daniela Demafelis, who was found inside a freezer at an abandoned apartment in Kuwait.
“So everyone who wants to come home, I said to Secretary Bello, those who want to be repatriated, with or without money, I will ask PAL and Cebu Pacific to provide the transportation,” Duterte said in the press conference.
“I want them out of the country, those who want to go out in 72 hours,” he said.
The two local airlines said on Saturday that they will mount special charter flights from Kuwait from Manila.
“Cebu Pacific (CEB) is mounting a special charter flight from Kuwait to Manila for free. This is in response to the call for assistance by the government to repatriate Filipino workers in Kuwait.”Cebu Pacific said in a statement that they are currently working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait on the final travel arrangements. It added that special arrangements are being made since they no longer have regular commercial air service between Manila and Kuwait.
Cebu Pacific will be deploying an Airbus A330 aircraft which has a maximum capacity of 436 passengers. They will also be providing free food and refreshments, as well as baggage allowance for all passengers on the flight.
Meanwhile PAL will be using their 363-seater Airbus A330.
PAL said in a statement that their officials are in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait and concerned Philippine and foreign government authorities for the necessary requirements.
“In the service of our ‘kababayans’ (countrymen), we will be ensuring their safe journey back to the Philippines. It is the flag carrier’s privilege to be of service to those in need. PAL is more than ready to mount extra flights to Kuwait, as needed,” PAL said.
According to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), 49 OFWs arrived today at 6:30 a.m. from Kuwait via flight PR 669.
(D. Nazario, mb)