PH targets expanded India, Switzerland routes
The Philippines is eyeing air talks with several countries, given growing interest from airlines seeking to expand or update old agreements.
Carmelo Arcilla, executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), said air negotiations were being prepared for India, Papua New Guinea and Switzerland.
Some of the discussions, which could take place in the next few months, have been initiated due to the interest from domestic carriers.
In the case of India, Philippine Airlines has indicated it wanted to revive flights to the South Asian country. Cebu Pacific Air and Philippines Air Asia have also filed petitions to the CAB for entitlements.
Arcilla also cited their interest in Papua New Guinea. “It’s a market we are developing, it’s small but there is a market for Filipinos,” he noted.
Arcilla said talks with Switzerland were being finalized upon the request of the latter.
“They want to update our existing agreement since it has not been updated since the 1950s,” he said.
According to consultancy firm CAPA-Center for Aviation, the Philippines’ international aviation market has been booming in recent years.
“A surging economy and the Philippines’ emergence as a popular tourist destination have driven rapid growth over the last three years,” CAPA said.
Citing data from the Department of Tourism, it said visitor numbers have gone up 37 percent during this period, or from 4.83 million in 2014 to 6.62 million in 2017,
“Visitors account for slightly more than half of the total international passenger traffic and Filipinos (including overseas workers) account for slightly less than half,” CAPA said.
CAPA also observed strength was coming from markets within the region. Challenges include increasing competition.
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