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PH, India sign air services pact

  • The Philippines and India have signed a new air services agreement (ASA)
  • Signed on September 27, the ASA aims to promote international air services between the two countries and ensure the highest degree of air safety
  • The new ASA revises the 2018 agreement after changes were approved last year

The Philippines and India have signed a new air services agreement (ASA) to improve connectivity and enhance mutual economic growth between the two countries.

Signed on September 27, the ASA aims to promote international air services between the two countries, advance a quality international aviation system, and ensure the highest degree of air safety.

The agreement opens the market for competition, where multiple airlines can operate and more flights activated.

In 2018, the 1949 Philippines-India ASA was amended and a new agreement was signed. But in 2020 changes to the 2018 accord were proposed, with the revision approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of the Philippines.

In December 2020, the India Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also gave its approval to the signing of the revised ASA.

“I hope today [that] the signing of the Agreement will not just be limited to a relationship about an air bilateral agreement, but it is a relationship that goes far and beyond aviation. It will encompass other forms of business activity, economic activity in this country,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a statement.

“This agreement is a critical enabler of the partnership, whether it may be in terms of people-to-people contacts, trade and investments, tourism, and culture interactions, and overall in bringing our two great democratic republics in Asia closer together,” Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambu Kumaran said.

“It is my hope that this new air services agreement will spur greater people-to-people, business and cultural ties between our two countries, and that it will ensure the highest degree of safety and security in international air travel between the Philippines and India,” DFA assistant secretary of the Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs Nathaniel Imperial said.

(Updated on Oct 1, 2021, 4:55pm, to correct designation of Nathaniel Imperial.)

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