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Maldives and Philippines looking to seal air transport pact

The Philippine government is seeking to expand current bilateral air pacts with at least six nations and ink a new air transport deal with the Maldives later in the year.

According to the Executive Director of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), the move is a response to the clamor of local carriers for more entitlements to back their respective expansion projects.

CAB Executive Director, Carmelo L. Arcilla, said his office is seeking expansion of the country’s air services agreements with Canada, India, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Japan and Australia.

An agreement with Maldives is also in the cards, so that its carriers may service flights to the Philippines.

“We need more traffic rights to these countries because of the expansion of our airlines. The Maldives, on the other hand, is reaching out to us for bilateral talks,” Arcilla relayed.

The current air-services agreement with Canada stipulates that Philippine carriers are permitted to operate 14 weekly flights to any point in Canada and vice versa. The agreement was last amended in May of 2014.

In the case of India, Filipino airlines are sanctioned to fly to New Delhi, Bombay, Kolkata and Chenai for seven days a week. It was last apprised in July of 2005.

The Philippines’ national carrier, Philippine Airlines, according to a statement made by its president, Jaime J. Bautista, is keen in relaunching its New Delhi flights sometime this year.

Coefficients for the Manila-Hong Kong route were at 30,000 seats per week. The air-services agreement between the two nations was last restructured in October of 2014.

The agreement with Papua New Guinea, which was last modified in August of 2011, lets carriers fly between Manila and Port Moresby for only 760 seats per week.

Meanwhile for Japan, there are only 14 weekly flights available for Philippine carriers that want to fly between Manila and Tokyo and all are currently being held by Philippine Airlines.

Cebu Pacific and Philippines AirAsia have long been requesting the CAB to initiate air talks to expand the said agreement.

The Philippines-Australia air services pact lets Philippine carriers fly between airports in the Philippines and Australia with 9,300 seats per week.

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