MANILA – Expect more flights between the Philippines and Singapore after both countries increased the number of seat entitlements per week.
In a text message, Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) executive director Carmelo Arcilla said air panels of both countries concluded last Friday negotiations for additional flights. The new Memorandum of Understanding on Air Services increased capacity to 18,888 seats a week for each country from the existing 17,627.
Arcilla said Iloilo and Bacolod were added as co-terminal points for Singaporean carriers, in addition to Cebu, Davao and Puerto Princesa.
“It means that Singaporean carriers can fly to Cebu for example and then proceed to Davao,” he said.
“Both countries also agreed to increase the limit on the frequencies for fifth freedom, from 8 per week to 10 per week. This means that a Singaporean carrier, for example, can operate a route that starts from Singapore to Manila and proceeds to Osaka, 10 times a week,” Arcilla added.
The Philippines and Singapore also agreed on third country code sharing, which allows airlines from the two countries to collaborate with airlines from third countries in marketing services between the Philippines and Singapore.
“Overall, the agreement opens up more commercial opportunities for the airlines of the two countries,” Arcilla said.
Data from the Department of Tourism show that Singaporean visitors to the Philippines reached 146,996 in the first 10 months of 2014.
Arcilla had said the Philippine air panel will be holding discussions with its counterparts from Oman, Taiwan and Australia within the first six months of 2015.
The Philippine Air Services Negotiating Panel is composed of officials from the CAB, Departments of Transportation and Communications, of Foreign Affairs, and of Tourism (DOT), as well as from the Clark International Airport Corporation and local airline companies.
Arcilla said the air negotiations with these countries are aligned with the priority of DOT to meet the government’s tourist arrivals target.
The Aquino administration is pursuing more air talks as part of its open skies policy, which aims to double tourist arrivals to 10 million by 2016.