CAAP Deputy Director-General John Andrews was cited by InterAksyon.com as saying Japanese officials led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were “satisfied” with the agency’s case for expanding flights to Japan.
“They did come here last Monday and we gave them a two-hour presentation. (It’s) not an audit. (After the presentation) they came out completely satisfied,” Andrews was quoted as saying.
“We are now going to expand the flights between Japan and the Philippines. That means there are no restrictions. There’s going to be air talks between Japan and the Philippines. I think they will start this week,” he added.
Japan and South Korea had prevented Philippine carriers from mounting more flights because of safety concerns raised by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). However, the international body and the European Union took the Philippines off their blacklist last month.
Air talks with Korea would be held later this year, Andrews said.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific have pending applications before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to increase flight frequencies to Japan and South Korea.
PAL has 43% of total seat capacity on the Philippine-Japan route, while Cebu Pacific has less than 3%. PAL flies to and from Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, Okinawa and Tokyo, while Cebu Pacific operates three weekly flights to Osaka.
For South Korea, PAL has a 15% share of total seat capacity, while budget airlines hold 40%, led by Cebu Pacific’s 14%.
Data from the Department of Tourism showed that visitors from South Korea reached 1.031 million last year, while Japanese arrivals totaled 412,000.
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