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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: PAL did NOT cancel Canada flight due to Marcos’ Switzerland visit

An allegation is making the rounds on social media that Philippine Airlines (PAL) canceled a 777 flight to Canada as a result of President Ferdinand Marcos’ trip to Switzerland. This is not true. Marcos chartered a different B-777 aircraft for his flight to Davos, according to PAL.

On Jan. 15, a claim on social media went viral. It read:

“PAL had to cancel its 777 flight to Vancouver today, because [Marcos] commandeered it for his trip to Switzerland, then for the very first time in PAL’s history – all the crew, including pilots, stewards and stewardesses were forced to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement.”

In a Jan. 17 statement to the press, PAL clarified that the Manila-Vancouver B-777 flight, with the registry number RP-C7773, was canceled on Jan. 13 due to an “aircraft situation” or a technical issue. The airline has booked a replacement flight for all affected passengers.

PAL also stated that Marcos’ chartered flight for Davos, Switzerland is another B-777 that carries a different registry number. 

“Charter arrangements for this aircraft were made weeks ago and DID NOT cause the Manila-Vancouver flight cancellation,” the airline said.

It was a B-777 aircraft with registry number RP-C7782 that carried Marcos and his delegation to Switzerland. The flight, PR-001, landed at Zurich Airport on Jan. 16 at 12:28 p.m. Manila time, according to flight tracker FlightRadar24.

The allegation appeared on the day Marcos flew to Switzerland, his eighth overseas trip in under seven months, to attend the World Economic Forum where the president plans to introduce the Maharlika Investment Fund.

A couple of Twitter users published the allegation, garnering more than 20,000 interactions while two other users on Facebook republished the same claim.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)