Home » Aviation » RP air cargo pact with Asian neighbors halted

THE Philippine government has backed out of an open skies air cargo agreement with Asian countries following Philippine Airlines’ explicit opposition to the agreement.

The agreement, which would give foreign air cargo carriers in Singapore, Thailand and Brunei unlimited cargo capacity rights to and from the Philippines as well as fifth freedom rights between any points here and any third country, was supposed to be inked last week in Singapore. Transportation and Communications Undersecretary Edward Harun V. Pagunsan, however, said the agreement was never reviewed by the Philippine air panel and the matter was not properly brought to the attention of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Flag carrier PAL said only Singapore would benefit from the treaty as it would allow Singapore Airlines to fly to Manila and bring PAL to the United States.

PAL president Avelino Zapanta said transportation officials should have discussed the matter with the Philippine air panel, which includes representatives from the DFA, Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and the Civil Aeronautics Board. Last

October, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo committed to take part in the initiative for cargo open skies in the ASEAN region.

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