19 April 2018
The Philippines and Maldives have signed Air Services Agreement (ASA) that will allow direct daily flights between Manila and Male Tuesday.
The ASA provides an initial entitlement of 1,200 seats weekly that can be flown by each country’s designated airlines between the Philippines and the Maldives Capital after series of air negotiations on April 16 and 17 that were conducted in Manila.
The designated carriers were Philippine Airlines and Maldivian. Philippine Airlines manifested intent to fly Maldives with A321Neos as early as next year.
Maldives earlier wanted unlimited flight with the Philippines in its preliminary proposals that were discussed in letter exchanges in the past three months.
The Philippine panel However agreed that flights originating from or destined for points outside Manila will be unlimited, in line with the Philippines’ pocket open skies policy which promotes other international gateways away from the capital. This will allow Maldivian to fly unlimited flights to Clark or Cebu or Davao.
The Maldives panel delegation was composed of the chairman, the chief executive and senior officials of the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority, while the Philippine air panel was led by the Department of Foreign Affairs, with representatives from the Department of Transportation, Civil Aeronautics Board, Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labor and Employment as members.
The Ministry of Tourism of Maldives said that as late as March 2018, it recorded a 17-percent increase of tourist arrivals from the Philippines.