KLM boosts flights b/w Manila and Amsterdam, UK, Norway
MANILA, Philippines - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is increasing seat capacity in its daily Manila-Taipei-Amsterdam flights and adding new routes between Manila and Europe.
In a statement on Monday, April 1, KLM announced that it is increasing the capacity of its Manila-Amsterdam route by 10% by using bigger aircraft: Boeing 777-300s and Boeing 777-200s.
The airline will also be launching new flights in its network: Manston, Kent in the United Kingdom and Alesund in Norway.
Its daily Manila-Manston flights will start on April 3, while its Manila-Alesund flights will start on April 4. Both routes add to the airline's Manila-Taipei-Amsterdam flights.
The airline stopped direct Manila-Amsterdam flights in 2012 due to the Common Carriers Tax (CCT) and the Gross Philippine Billings Tax (GPBT) the goverment had imposed.
The increased activity comes after President Benigno S. Aquino III signed Republic Act 10374 or the Common Carriers Tax Act. The law erased a 3% common carriers tax (CCT) on the passenger traffic of foreign airlines.
The CCT and GPBT carry a 5.5% tax on airlines that amount to P2.5 billion in tax revenues. The government plans to replace revenue losses by hitting its higher foreign tourism arrival target of 10 million by 2016.
"With aforementioned capacity increase, KLM aspires to take a first step towards the joint goal with the Department of Tourism (DOT) of bringing more tourists to the Philippines," the company said. A total of 4.3 million tourists visted the Philippines in 2012.
Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) President John Paul Cabalza said that other airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Delta Airlines, Etihad, Kuwait Airlines, Lufthansa/ Swiss Airlines, Qatar Airlines, and Singapore Airlines are expected to add more flights into the country by mid-2013. - with reports from Christian Bautista/Rappler.com