PH, Canada sign air pact, agree to double flights
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Canada signed a deal doubling the number of flights between the two countries to boost investments and tourism, a ranking official of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said.
CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said the countries signed a new air service agreement Wednesday, May 28, increasing the frequency entitlement for each to 14 flights from 7 a week.
He added that both agreed to boost fifth freedom rights to 5 flights per week from 4.
Fifth freedom rights allow one to fly passengers to a country where it has an existing air service agreement, before proceeding to a third destination.
Arcilla said legacy carrier Philippines Airlines was the lone Philippine carrier flying to Canada 7 times a week.
This was the fifth air pact finalized by the Philippine air negotiating panel this year.
The Philippines so far concluded air talks with France, Singapore, and New Zealand. Air talks with Malaysia scheduled last April 3-4 were called off as authorities continued the search for the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
For the remainder of the year, the Philippines will hold air talks with Taiwan, Russia and South Korea.
The Aquino administration is pursuing air talks as part of its "pocket" open skies policy. Under Executive Order 29, airports other than the Ninoy Aquino International Airport were opened to more foreign traffic.
The open skies policy will help the country meet its target of attracting 10 million tourists by 2016. – Rappler.com
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