The crewing industry has been thrown another curve ball over the weekend with the Philippines, the nation that provides more seafarers than anywhere else, banning all commercial flights in and out of the country as quarantine sites have become congested.
The Philippines accounts for just over one quarter of all crew onboard merchant ships today. Many of these men and women have already been working beyond their contracts as nations have made it very difficult for seafarers to board or leave ships during the coronavirus crisis.
Passenger flights will be suspended until May 9 at the earliest with local carriers Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific cancelling flights until May 15.
Data compiled last week by the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Maritime Employers’ Council show that there are 40,000 Filipino seafarers awaiting belated crew change at the moment.