Home » Aviation, Ports/Terminals » PH upgrades air service pacts with Switzerland, Thailand

The Philippines has signed separate air service agreements (ASA) with Switzerland and Thailand to increase flights between the Philippines and the two countries.

Undersecretary for aviation Manuel Tamayo of the Philippine Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines Andrea Reichlin signed the ASA between the Philippines and Switzerland on November 20.

Under the agreement, designated airlines of both countries may exercise unlimited direct flights with third and fourth freedom traffic rights between Switzerland and the Philippines, except to Zurich and Manila, which will have seven frequencies per week per side and increased to 14 frequencies each side one year after the date of signing of a memorandum of understanding.

“Switzerland is a key component for good air access by serving as the origin or destination of fifth freedom operations. Thus, it was agreed that for designated carriers of both the Philippines and Switzerland, fifth freedom traffic rights may be exercised at points in Europe and Asia, both as intermediate or beyond points,” Tamayo said.

Code-share agreements may also be entered into between airlines of the same party or of both parties, or even airlines of either party and third countries.

“These arrangements are conditioned on all participating airlines having the appropriate route and traffic rights, and in case of third country code sharing, the third country airline should only fly direct traffic between Switzerland and the Philippines, and the third country’s home state should allow similar arrangements with Switzerland and the Philippines,” Tamayo explained.

The Philippines’ air agreement with Switzerland was first signed in 1952 and was last amended in 1994.

Also on Nov 20, the Philippines and Thailand signed a memorandum of understanding containing the draft of a new ASA that will replace the old agreement signed back in 1953.

Passenger and cargo capacities between the Philippines and Thailand are now without restriction, in keeping with the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on Air Services, the Multilateral Agreement on Full Liberalization of Passenger Air Services, and the Multilateral Agreement on Full Liberalization of Air Freight Services.

The new ASA will not just conform to the current International Civil Aviation Organization template, but will also reflect the current legal milieu and aviation relationship between the parties. The two countries also agreed to operationalize the provisions of the ASA pending its signature by the parties’ pertinent authorities.

DOTr said the agreement between the Philippines and Thailand is now aligned with Association of Southeast Asian Nations multilateral agreements opening up travel, tourism, and trade within the 10-country bloc.

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