Staff at the local office of Philippine Airlines promised yesterday to stay on to help travellers obtain refunds or transfer to other airlines. The Tsim Sha Tsui office was expected to remain open despite the official closure of the airline last night. The Travel Industry Council said yesterday it would lead the fight for refunds for travellers with tickets on the airline, while Cathay Pacific has offered to accept some holidaymakers hit by the closure. An estimated 4,000 Hong Kong travellers look likely to be affected, with most booking tickets through tour agencies. A Philippine Airlines staff member at the Chek Lap Kok office last night said there had been no formal instruction about the closure from Manila. But she said she understood the local office would continue operating for some days. She said it was business as usual at the airport counter yesterday. Flights left and arrived on schedule throughout the day. Some travellers who had booked tickets with the airline brought their schedules forward to catch the last flights to Manila. A ground crew member said: 'Some of us are worried that we might have difficulty in getting new jobs in the present economic situation. There has not been any news yet about our severance pay.' There are about 40 workers in the airline's local office. Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yiu-chung, who had emergency talks with agents and airline representatives yesterday, urged affected travellers to contact their tour agents. 'If we are needed we shall act collectively for them to fight for full refunds from the airline,' Mr Tung said. 'Our members have agreed to offer to help travellers. But for those who have planned to fly during the long holiday next month, I am afraid they may have to pay surcharges if they opt to transfer to other airlines at such short notice.'