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252 foreign seafarers repatriated

Anthony Ching

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Around 252 seafarers of the Royal Caribbean of the Sea Cruise Line who stranded in Manila due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic were flown home by Philippine Airlines (PAL) to Barbados last 20 May.

The North American and Latin American seafarers were eventually given the green light to return home after undergoing quarantine for several weeks in the cruise ship when they were docked in Manila.

Upon touchdown at Bridgetown in Barbados, the seafarers took flights to their respective home countries such as Jamaica, Honduras, Sta Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Chile, Panama, El Salvador, Haiti, Grenada, Nicaragua, Guyana, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Peru, Panama, Bahamas, Uruguay and the United States.

Since the enhanced community quarantine period started, PAL has conducted sweeper flights or special flights to ferry all stranded passengers in coordination with foreign embassies, local governments and shipping lines.

Among these repatriation flights are milestone/first-time journeys to Maldives, Milan, Miami and Barbados.

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