13 September 2013
By Lenie Lectura
By Lenie Lectura
The Philippine Air panel will hold air talks with Israel and Russia next month, officials from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said on Thursday.
“The air talks in Israel are scheduled on November 4 and 5. We were the ones that initiated the discussion,” said Wyrlou Samodio, CAB legal head.
An Air Services Agreement (ASA) between the Philippines and Israel is long overdue for an amendment and the CAB official said, “We have existing bilateral agreement with Israel forged in the 1960’s or 1970’s. It’s time to amend it because there is only one frequency under that agreement.”
Samodio said Philippine Airlines (PAL) is interested to mount flights to Israel.
Also, the panel will seek to amend its ASA with Russia. “Manila will host the air talks with Russia. PAL is also interested to fly there,” added the CAB official.
The CAB forms part of the air panel, which negotiates for air entitlements with other countries. It is an attached agency of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), mandated to regulate the economic aspect of air transportation, and shall have the general supervision, control and jurisdiction over air carriers, general sales agents, cargo sales agents and air freight forwarders.
Aside from the CAB, other members of the panel include the DOTC, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, and representatives from airline companies.
Early this month, the Philippines successfully negotiated an amended ASA with Italy.
“We got 14 flights per week between the Philippines and Italy,” said CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla. The previous agreement dated 1969 only allowed one frequency per week.
“There are 170,000 Filipinos in Italy. Rome and Milan can also be a jump-off point for traffic between Southern Europe and the Philippines,” said Arcilla.