Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) director Carmelo O. Arcilla said a memorandum of understanding was signed during the air talks on Feb. 4-5 which increased seat capacity to 17,800 seats per week from the previous 13,800 seats, and added 3,800 seats on the Manila-Singapore route.
“We also expanded 5th freedom rights by adding China for them (on top of Osaka and Seoul); and India for us on top of Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok,” Arcilla said.
Fifth-freedom rights allow a carrier to carry revenue passengers from one’s own country to a second country, and from that country to a third country, and so on.
“Points outside Manila shall be unlimited in accordance with the current Philippine policy and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) multilateral agreements on air liberalization,” Arcilla added.
Air talks with New Zealand in March are next on CAB’s schedule. No other countries have confirmed plans for similar talks so far, but Arcilla said CAB is looking at short-haul flights to Indonesia, Myanmar, and Taiwan, and long-haul flights to Canada, Ethiopia and Egypt.
“Canada wants another round of air talks,” he said. Australia, too, remained on the radar after talks stalled last year, he added.
CAB concluded an air services agreement with France recently that increased flight entitlements to the European country to seven from four a week.
In an earlier interview with PortCalls, CAB Planning and Research Division chief Jesus Ibay said CAB has a target of entering into a minimum of eight air agreements in a year. He said the CAB was able to achieve the target for 2013, adding that this year’s target is 10 air agreements.––Roumina M. Pablo
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