PAL, CEB free flights bring home 576 distressed OFWs from Kuwait

MANILA Two special flights carrying 576 repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Wednesday via the free flights provided by local carriers Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific (CEB).

At least 180 were onboard PAL flight PR 669, while 396 were onboard CEB flight 5J 021.

CEB Corporate Communications Director Charo Lagamon told the Philippine News Agency that CEB was supposed to ferry a total of 430 OFWs.

However, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait told the airline that 34 OFWs were not cleared to go home by Kuwaiti authorities.

The two carriers heeded President Rodrigo Duterte's request to help repatriate the OFWs in Kuwait.

PAL has been providing special flights for the OFWs there.

On the other hand, CEB could only provide one special flight to repatriate the OFWs, since the airline does not have a flight to Kuwait, Lagamon told PNA earlier.

CEB used the Airbus A330, the largest of its fleet, to ferry the distressed OFWs, as well as the Philippine Embassy officials in Kuwait.

Passengers of this special flight were also provided with free food and beverage and baggage allowance.

More than 1,000 OFWs have already been repatriated by the government since last week. The move was due to reports that the OFWs in Kuwait were experiencing maltreatment and abuse.

Joanna Demafelis, a domestic worker in Kuwait, was murdered and was found in a freezer.

Source: Philippine News Agency