Philippines, the manning capital of the world, bans all passenger flights

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.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Tired of taking care of this the past 5 years i have paid 1,000’s of dollars USD. NOW I am trying to get back. Seem’s Everytime I get a ticket they close The airport ( here in the Philippines)
    Now i have paied for another ticket just hoping it doesn’t get canncled yet again.the .mayer here in Davao has no since. I mean yeah I know about the virse,but there are a lot of people here trying to get back to there country,Hell let us go back to our place,and you won’t have to worry about us.
    In short stop closing the airport’s..
    I am being held here aginst my will.i have my ticket just let me go…….

  2. It is not anyones perogative to tell when to stop the operations of airport. Only the government can decide during this stage of global pandemic. Philippines is a poor country and if it will stay reluctant now many people will die due to lack of medical facilities. Timothy and Branson you are morons. I dont care whatever breeds you have.

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