MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Turkey signed a new air pact, increasing the flights between two countries from 3 to 7 flights per week, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said Thursday, June 11.
In a text message, CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on air services on Wednesday, June 10.
Apart from the increased flight frequency, both parties also agreed to allow 14 flights per week between Turkey and all other international airports in the Philippines, except the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.
Arcilla said Turkish Airlines is planning to increase their operations between Manila and Istanbul to 7 flights per week starting October this year from the current 3 flights weekly. (READ: Turkish Airlines launches Istanbul-Manila flight)
“Turkey is a major gateway to Europe, and Turkish Airlines has about 106 destinations in Europe,” Arcilla added.
Turkish Airlines launched its direct Istanbul-Manila flight on March 30, 2015, businessmen, tourists, and transit passengers seeking a gateway to Europe are the target clients of the direct Istanbul-Manila flight.
The Philippines is the 109th country in Turkish Airlines’ network, with Manila as its 264th destination, and the 32nd point in its network in Asia and the Far East.
Carriers from the Philippines would be granted fifth freedom rights to Frankfurt or Tel Aviv. Fifth freedom rights refer to the right to fly passengers to third countries from a country with which an airline’s resident country has an outstanding air services agreement.
“This will allow a Philippine carrier to fly from Manila to Istanbul and onward to Frankfurt or via Tel Aviv,” he said. Turkey is accessible to 3 continents – Asia, Europe, and Africa, providing for seamless transfers.
The Aquino administration is pursuing more air talks as part of its open skies policy under Executive Order 29, as it aims to double tourist arrivals to 10 million by 2016. – Rappler.com
Golden Horn, Istanbul, Turkey image from Shutterstock