PH, SoKor add 10K flight seats per week

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PH, SoKor add 10K flight seats per week
  • The Philippines and South Korea added 10,000 flight seats per week between Manila and Incheon
  • This brings to 30,000 the weekly capacity entitlement on flights on that sector
  • The agreement is contained in an MOU signed on July 4
  • Flights from points outside Manila to all points in South Korea will continue to be open and without limits

The Philippines and South Korea added 10,000 flight seats per week between Manila and other points of the east Asian country to promote tourist traffic.

This brings to 30,000 the weekly capacity entitlement on flights for Manila to Incheon and vice-versa under a memorandum of understanding signed on July 4, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said in a statement.

Flights from points outside Manila to all points in South Korea will continue to be open and without limits under the new MOU.

The MOU, which aims to liberalize the exercise of third and fourth freedom traffic, was the result of a two-day consultation talks between delegations of the two countries with the aim of improving the air services relations between the Philippines and South Korea by updating the capacity entitlements. The last air service agreement between the Philippines and South Korea was signed in November 2017.

The third freedom of air is the right to carry passengers or cargo from one’s own country to a foreign country while the fourth freedom is the right to carry passengers or cargo from a foreign country back to one’s own country.

Citing the mandate of Republic Act (RA) No. 11659 (An Act Amending Commonwealth Act 146 otherwise known as the Public Service Act), the Philippine delegation proposed an amendment to the two countries’ air transport agreement that would allow the Philippines to designate its airlines on the basis of the airline having its principal place of business and place of incorporation in the Philippines.

RA 11659 relaxes foreign ownership restrictions in certain industries, including air carriers.

Though an agreement on the matter was not reached, DOTr said the two delegations agreed to further discuss the same, along with South Korea’s proposal to allow third country code-sharing arrangements, in the next round of consultations.

South Korea has been the top tourism market of the Philippines since before the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Department of Tourism, incoming Korean tourists were already at 682,362 as of May 2024.