AIR talks will be held with Italy this September and France in January next year on possible amendments to their existing air-service pacts with the Philippines that could lead to more local airlines competing in those markets, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said.
In a text message to PortCalls, CAB executive director Atty. Carmelo L. Arcilla said the talks are in line with the European Union’s lifting of its air ban on Philippine Airlines (PAL) and aim to pave the way for other carriers to compete in Europe.
“The talks are expected to expand the existing traffic rights to Europe to give more room for expanded operations,” Arcilla said.
“They will also pave the way for other Philippine carriers to eventually compete in the European market,” he added.
The CAB director confirmed that the talks were arranged even before the EU lifted its air ban on PAL on July 10.
“We were hoping the ban would be lifted before the talks. If not, we’d go ahead anyway so that when the ban is lifted eventually, the traffic rights would have been expanded already,” Arcilla said.
Ambassador Guy Ledoux, head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, had earlier told PortCalls the ending of the air ban not only applies to passenger flights, but to cargoes as well.
“We have confirmed schedules with Italy and Framce to conduct air talks,” Arcilla was quoted as saying in another report.
Earlier, Arcilla was reported as saying the Philippine air panel will meet with its Italian counterpart on September 4 and 5. “We are seeking seven weekly flights and multiple destinations,” he said, adding the panel would likewise seek the same number of flights for France.
There are also plans to hold bilateral talks with South Africa, as well as adding flights to Hong Kong and China.
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