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The Philippines and the Kingdom of Morocco are negotiating an air service agreement (ASA) that will soon allow direct flights between the two countries.

The ASA will pave the way for the two countries’ respective carriers to mount daily flights to and from each other’s territories, which will fortify tourism figures and people-to-people exchanges and boost economic and social relations between the two nations, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

The initial negotiation was held on September 4 to 5 at the office of the Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile in Rabat, Morocco. The ASA with Morocco will be the seventh for the Philippines with a country in the African region.

Pending the ASA ratification, DOTr said the parties have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) granting full third and fourth freedom traffic rights for both passenger and cargo, and setting out other operational details for their respective designated carriers.

Third freedom of the air is the right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one state to another state to put down, in the territory of the first state, traffic coming from the home state of the carrier. Meanwhile, the fourth freedom is the right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one state to another state to take on, in the territory of the first state, traffic destined for the home state of the carrier.

According to Department of Foreign Affairs undersecretary Igor Bailen, the Philippines will be establishing an embassy in Morocco next year.

Present during the MOU signing were Bailen, DOTr undersecretary Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo, Department of Tourism undersecretary Edwin R. Enrile, Civil Aeronautics Board executive director Carmelo L. Arcilla, and Department of Trade and Industry director Joan Karen A. Riola.

Meanwhile, the Moroccan delegation was headed by Director of Air Transport Tarik Talibi, together with deputy director of Air Transport Mohamed Hamidi, Otman Ait Madani, Nora Oustani, Wahiba Amara, Maria Ed-Dahri, Hicham Ouzine, Younes El Bouzidi, and Rihab Bencheckroun.

 

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