China, South Korea, Singapore targeted for air talks this year

April 4, 2010

THE CIVIL Aviation Board (CAB) expects to sit down with counterparts of three Asian countries for air talks this year.

In a telephone interview late last week, CAB executive director Carmelo L. Arcilla said that the agency plans to sit down with counterparts from South Korea, Singapore and China.

"[We] might sit down with Korea, Singapore and China, but it’s not confirmed yet. We’ve already finished talks with Bahrain," said Mr. Arcilla.

The CAB is the agency responsible for securing rights for flights between the Philippines and other countries.

Last year, the country had talks with Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Russia and the United Kingdom.

More recently, the Philippines was able to negotiate more flights from Bahrain to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark Special Economic Zone in a bid to lure more foreign flights to that facility. CAB earlier said that the negotiations with Bahrain included conditions to fly more to DMIA which the government is developing. Eight more flights from Bahrain to the Philippines have been negotiated by the government.

Mr. Arcilla said that there is no agenda yet for the planned air talks with the three Asian countries. "The Philippine negotiating panel still needs to meet and discuss about the air talks and the agenda for the talks," said Mr. Arcilla.

Many Philippine registered airlines fly to Singapore, including Philippine Airlines (PAL), Zest Air and Cebu Pacific. PAL and Cebu Pacific also fly to Incheon, South Korea and some provinces in China.

The CAB has said that there are several air talks it hopes to conduct for the year, including with Middle Eastern countries. -- ENJD

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