The Philippines’ largest carrier, Cebu Pacific (CEB), commercially launches its Test Before Boarding (TBB) process for passengers flying from Manila, after its successful pilot run with the local government of General Santos. This process makes use of an antigen test taken just hours before the scheduled time of departure, with results released within 30 minutes.
The TBB testing facility at the NAIA Terminal 3 is now open for walk-ins from 2AM to 2PM daily. CEB passengers will only have to register onsite and pay the fee directly to CEB’s diagnostic partner, Philippine Airport Diagnostic Laboratory (PADL).
Throughout the pilot run from 3-14 December 2020, CEB tested a total of 1,143 passengers, three of whom tested positive and were not allowed to proceed with their flight. Only those who tested negative were allowed to board the aircraft. Subsequently, based on the data provided by the local government of General Santos, CEB passengers were retested after their 7-day quarantine and results were still negative, showing consistency with the earlier results of the TBB process.
“Following the successful TBB pilot, Cebu Pacific is ready to offer this option to all their passengers. We are urging everyone to take advantage of this convenient alternative, especially since the testing site is strategically located at the airport, making the whole process easy and hassle-free for our residents,” said Mayor Ronnel Rivera of General Santos City.
Apart from General Santos, the local governments of Butuan, Dipolog, and Pagadian also accept negative antigen test results as a pre-travel requirement. CEB passengers going to these destinations may also conveniently avail of the TBB beginning December 17, 2020.
As a number of local and international destinations require negative RT-PCR test results prior to entry, CEB is offering RT-PCR tests for only PHP 3,300 (approx. USD68)viaits three partner laboratories, namely PADL, Health Metrics, Inc. (HMI), and Safeguard DNA Diagnostics Inc. (SDDI).
Passengers booked on Cebu Pacific and Cebgo can easily choose and book appointments online. One will simply have to click on the “Testing Options” tab and choose from any of those in the list. From there, they will be redirected to each laboratory’s page to finalize their schedule online.
“We remain committed to making flights affordable for everyone and seeing that testing is required by a number of destinations at the moment, we have partnered with accredited laboratories that may offer affordable testing options. We look forward to the day trust and confidence in air travel have been restored, but until then, let us all work together towards that,” said Candice Iyog, CEB vice president for Marketing and Customer Experience.
Testing is just one out of the three key steps CEB strictly implements to regain passenger confidence. Other approaches include safety and sanitation, as well as track and trace. CEB continues to implement a multi-layered approach to safety and has been rated 7/7 stars by airlineratings.com for its COVID-19 compliance. Passengers are also constantly reminded to register in the Department of Transportation’s Traze App for a more efficient contact tracing process.