The Philippines and Israel have agreed to increase flight entitlements between the countries to 21 flights per week, after a successful round of bilateral air talks on November 4-5.
“Under the new agreement, the designated airlines of each country are entitled to a total of 21 flights per week (at) any point in the Philippines and Israel,” Civil Aeronautics Board director Carmelo O. Arcilla said in a text message.
The agreement updates the 60-year old air services deal between the two countries.
“The only airline that ever operated on the route is PAL (Philippine Airlines) back in the 60s. So far, no other airline has signified an intention to operate the route,” Arcilla noted.
Both countries also agreed to three fifth-freedom flights per week on one intermediate point in Mumbai and one beyond point in Madrid.
Arcilla explained this means “that a Philippine carrier can fly to India, unload and pick up passengers and proceed to Israel, or unload and pick up in Israel and proceed to Madrid.”
The countries also agreed on co-terminal and stop-over rights to any third country for the 21 flights.
“A Philippine carrier can bring passengers to Tel Aviv and proceed to say, Rome; or bring passengers to Tel Aviv and pick them up again after several days for onward travel to say, Rome,” Arcilla explained.
Israel is popular with pilgrims and is a destination for overseas Filipino workers.
Total trade between the two countries stands at $200 million, with Israeli exports to the country consisting of information technology, medical and electrical products, according to Chaim Choshen, Israel’s top diplomat for South and Southeast Asia who visited the country in July.
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