Bahrain bags more flights to RP

By Jose Bimbo F. Santos

February 27, 2009

THE TWO-DAY air service negotiations between the Philippines and Bahrain ended yesterday with that Middle Eastern state bagging more flights.

Specifically, Bahrain is now entitled to 50 weekly flights to the Philippines, up from the current 13. Philippines, on the other hand, has no flight restrictions to Bahrain.

The 50 flights are divided as follows: eight flights to Manila, 28 to Subic Freeport, seven to Cebu, and another seven to other points except Manila.

Porvenir P. Porciuncula, deputy executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), described the air talks with Bahrain as "very friendly and cordial."

The Philippine negotiating panel, led by Transportation and Communication Under-secretary Doroteo A. Reyes II, included representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Tourism, CAB, and airport authorities.

Philippine Airlines flies daily between Manila and Bahrain under a code-sharing agreement with Gulf Airways.

Cebu Pacific Air, meanwhile, said yesterday that it was open to mounting flights to Bahrain. "We welcome the development in the RP-Bahrain agreement. We are always looking for possible destinations for our route network expansion," Cebu Pacific Vice-President for Marketing and Product Candice A. Iyog said in a separate phone interview.

Mr. Porciuncula said Zest Airways had informally expressed interest in mounting flights to Bahrain, though this could not be confirmed with airline executivves as of press time.

The country is next scheduled to negotiate with Australia and Brunei.

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