Philippines, Sri Lanka ink new air deal | Inquirer Business

Philippines, Sri Lanka ink new air deal

The Philippines and Sri Lanka have signed a new deal to increase flights between the two countries in line with the “open skies” policy being pushed throughout the entire Southeast Asian region.

The local air panel and its counterpart concluded their two-day talks on Tuesday with the forging of a new deal that may pave the way for the launching of the first direct flight between the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

At present, there are no direct flights between the two countries.


“The new agreement is expected make any services that the respective airlines of both countries may plan to operate in the future more viable,” Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) executive director Carmelo Arcilla said.


Under the new deal, the flights between Manila and the Sri Lankan capital Colombo will be increased to four from two a week.

Both air panels also agreed to remove restrictions on the number of flights to points outside Manila. The Philippine team also granted Sri Lanka “fifth freedom” rights from points outside Manila to Bangkok, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

This means Sri Lankan airlines will be able to pick up passengers from these secondary routes and bring them to the said Southeast Asian cities.

Earlier this year, the government signed a similar deal with Malaysia. The inter-agency Philippine air panel is also expected to hold talks with counterparts from Vietnam in September.

The new deal is in line with the Aquino administration’s new open skies policy, which liberalizes the granting of air rights particularly to points outside Manila.

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TAGS: Air Transport, deal, Open skies, Philippines, Sri Lanka

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