RP, UK to amend ASA

Hold talks next month for EU Clause

By Lenie Lectura

THE Philippine air panel will hold bilateral negotiation with its counterpart in the United Kingdom next month to amend the air services agreement (ASA) between the two countries, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) on Monday said.

“The air talks will be held July 7 to 9. Basically, the main issue in the upcoming air talks is to be able to update the agreement and hopefully include the European Union Community clause in the updated agreement,” said CAB Deputy Executive Director Porvenir Porciuncula in a phone interview on Monday.

Under the existing air pact between the Philippines and the UK, each country is authorized to field seven flights a week for airlines using bigger aircraft such as the Boeing 747, and maximum of 10 weekly flights for smaller aircraft.

“Even if there is no demand, we are open still to discussions to possibly amend the ASA. If there will be proposals to operate the UK-Manila route, then why not? Right now, there is no Philippine carrier mounting flights to UK and vice versa,” added the CAB official.

The Philippine air panel was supposed to hold similar talks with Cambodia this month. “But we did not get any confirmation from them so it would be postponed,” added Porciuncula.

The CAB is a member of the Philippine air panel. The other members are composed of officials from the Departments of Transportation and Communications, of Foreign Affairs, and of Tourism; Clark International Airport Corp.; and representatives from local airline companies.

They are set to hold bilateral negotiations to amend the existing ASA with China, Italy, Iceland and Korea soon, said Porciuncula.

In May, the Philippines and Spain sealed a new ASA, fielding 28-weekly flights for each country. From Manila to Madrid and Barcelona, there were seven flights per week awarded to the Philippines. To Madrid and Barcelona from Clark’s Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, 14 weekly flights were allocated.

Other points in the country, except Manila and Clark, were allotted seven flights a week. The same goes for Spain in which daily flights were also made available, except for Mardid and Barcelona.

Also, Manila was granted rights to service 200 tons of cargo per week while Clark got 300 tons per week. “For cargo, seven flights per week were also granted,” said CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla.

This was the eighth air pact sealed by the Philippine air panel since the start of the year. Last month a new deal with Singapore was finalized.

ASAs were sealed with Brunei and Australia last March; Kuwait and Bahrain in February; and Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in January.

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