Myanmar, Canada, Macau air talks set | Inquirer Business

Myanmar, Canada, Macau air talks set

More flights to growing markets expected
/ 11:07 PM April 20, 2014

The Philippines is set to hold air talks with Myanmar and Canada next month, to be followed up by talks with Macau, which could result in increased flights to those destinations, helping bolster the government’s tourism goals.

Civil Aeronautics Board executive director Carmelo Arcilla said in an interview last week that talks with Myanmar were up first, or from May 19 to 20. The move is set to result in the first direct flights between Philippines and Myanmar, often described as the region’s final frontier, and follows strengthened bilateral ties between both countries late last year.

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Arcilla noted that the time was right for talks with Myanmar given the potential for increased tourism and business.  Among local carriers, he said Cebu Pacific has expressed its interest to operate in Myanmar.

“It’s a very young emerging market and there are political reforms being implemented,” Arcilla said. “For a while, Myanmar was at the receiving end of economic sanctions but now, there is recognition and support coming from other Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members.”

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Talks with Canada, to be held from May 27 to 28, were aimed at expanding flights to the North American country given the large Filipino population residing there.

Arcilla said there were about seven weekly flights allowed to Canada but they were looking at doubling that figure.

“Canada is a very strong market for the Philippines, there are 800,000 Filipinos living there,” he said.

Talks with casino hub Macau were set from June 17 to 18, also to cater to growing demand.

Although unconfirmed, Arcilla said the Philippines was also looking to hold talks with Russia and African countries like Ethiopia, South Africa and Kenya.

Schedules are sometimes subject to external factors, Arcilla noted, citing the case with Malaysia, which was supposed to be held this month but was later shelved as regulators were focused on the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

So far this year, the Philippines has completed successful air talks with New Zealand, Singapore and France.

Talks with France resulted in seven weekly flights from the previous four, which can be used by Philippine Airlines, and now, Cebu Pacific, following its removal from a European Union blacklist last April 10.

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TAGS: air talks, Airline industry, Business, economy, Myanmar, News
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