PH, Thailand sign 'open skies' deal
MANILA, Philippines - Airlines in Thailand may now field unlimited flights to any point in the Philippines except Manila, under a deal to expand air traffic between the two countries.
Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said the Philippine air panel agreed to give Thailand "unlimited rights to points outside Manila in line with Executive Order No 29."
Signed by President Benigno Aquino III in 2011, EO 29 allows the Philippine air panel to ease restrictions on foreign airlines in select international airports outside Manila in a bid to boost tourist arrivals in the country. These airports include Clark, Cebu, Davao, Zamboanga, Ilocos Norte, and only recently, Iloilo.
The open skies deal was part of the amended bilateral air services agreement between the two countries that also provided for additional seats between Manila and Thailand.
Arcilla said 1,440 weekly seats were granted to Thai carriers flying to Manila and local carriers flying to Thailand.
"We agreed to increase entitlements to Manila from 5,440 seats per week to 6,880, about 27% increase. This is enough to cover the growth which is about 3% per year," he noted.
CAB is an attached agency of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) mandated to regulate the economic aspect of air transportation, and which has general supervision, control and jurisdiction over carriers, general sales agents, cargo sales agents, and air freight forwarders.
The agency forms part of the Philippine air panel, along with the DOTC, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry and representatives of airline companies. - Rappler.com