Air Talks with Taiwan have been proposed by the
Philippines under the Aquino administration’s “pocket open skies”
policy, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) yesterday said.
The government, said CAB Executive Director Carmelo L. Arcilla, sees Taiwan as a “big tourism market.”
“Our next air talks will be with Taiwan ... we have scheduled
[the talks] for November, but this is still not yet final,” Mr. Arcilla
“Taiwan is one of our big tourism markets ... we still see a lot of expansion for this market,” he added.
Tourism department data show that of the 1.91 million visitor
arrivals during the first half of the year, a little over 4% or 84,979
were from Taiwan. This was enough to put the country in the top five
“We are looking at marketing the Kalibo route, as we have found
out that there are many Taiwanese visiting that area,” Mr. Arcilla said.
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines and budget carrier Cebu Pacific currently stage daily flights from Manila to Taipei.
“We are using most of our entitlements from Manila. The maximum
[for PAL] is 4,800 seats per week,” Cielo A. Villaluna, PAL
spokesperson, said in a text message yesterday.
Candice A. Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice-president for marketing and
distribution, said in a separate text message: “We fly to Taipei daily
... from Manila. We use our A320, which is a 180-seater aircraft.”
Both officials held off from saying whether their airlines would be interested in applying for additional seats to Taiwan.
The Philippines has successfully concluded air talks with
Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Malaysia under the pocket open
skies policy, which allows the grant of additional rights to facilities
not including the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Negotiations with Indonesia have not been fruitful and a second round of talks is expected to be held.
Mr. Arcilla said the Philippines was also readying for air talks with Hong Kong and Japan.
“We are just waiting for responses,” he said.
Executive Order 29, signed by President Benigno S. C. Aquino III
on March 14, authorized the CAB and negotiators to “pursue more
aggressively the international civil aviation liberalization policy”
with respect to airports outside Metro Manila.