16 November 2017
The Philippine and South Korean government signed a new Air Services Agreement between the two countries increasing seat allocations between Manila and Seoul.
The new memorandum of understanding (MOU) on air services concluded in November 8, 2017 at Seoul, South Korea increased seat allocations for each country from the current 13,500 per week to 20,000 per week.
The Philippines was represented by DOTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo, and South Korea was represented by Ms. Kim Jung Hee.
Carmelo Arcilla, Civil Aeronautics Board(CAB) executive director,said the new MOU means that all Philippine carriers authorized to operate between Manila and Seoul can utilize a combined total of 20,000 seats per week, while the same number of 20,000 seats per week is also available for all the Korean airlines authorized to operate between Seoul and Manila.
Arcilla was part of the Philippine delegation to Korea which includes Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Rowel Barba, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Leo Herrera Lim, Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Benito Bengson, and Jesus Ibay from CAB.
Representatives from Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Asia Philippines, and Pan Pacific airways and the Korean Air carriers attended the 2-day talk.
“The expanded air traffic rights in Manila is intended to address the increased demand for air services between Manila and Korea,” Arcilla said.
Airlines from both countries are also allowed unlimited traffic rights to airports outside the country’s premier gateway.
“The unlimited air traffic rights outside Manila is in line with Philippine government policy to develop airports outside Manila and spur the economic development of new tourism, trade and economic centers outside Manila,” Arcilla said.
The new seats made available is equivalent to 3 Boeing 747-400 additional services per day. It will enable PAL and CEB to fly its B777 and A330 thrice daily from Manila to Seoul while also giving more seats to Air Asia to fly its A330 twice daily.
According to CAB there are eight Korean air carriers and five Philippine air carriers operating between the two countries.
South Korea remains the topmost foreign visitor to the Philippines registering 1.6 million passengers arriving in different points in the country, data from Department of Tourism showed.