Monday, November 29, 2010

Phl, China expand air service ties; 13,500 seat entitlements weekly set

Phl, China expand air service ties; 13,500 seat entitlements weekly set

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines and China have expanded their bilateral air service ties to allow each other’s airlines to have a maximum of flight entitlements of 13,500 seats a week.

In talks in Beijing last week, the two countries agreed to strengthen their aviation relation with more flights for their carriers.

Transportation Undersecretary Glicerio Sicat led the Philippine delegation, while Civil Aviation Administration of China director-general Li Jiangmin headed the Chinese team.

The talks led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) allowing designated airlines of the two sides to operate an additional 3,500 seats per week on their respected routes. This brought the capacity entitlements to 13,500 per week.

The last MOU signed in 2004 pegged the capacity entitlements of each country at 10,000 seats per week.

Under the new MOU, the Philippines will be entitled to operate unlimited number of seats outside China’s major points of Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, while China will have the same privilege outside the Philippines’ main hub of Manila.

Sicat noted that the consultations were timely, with China fast becoming a major source of tourists visiting the Philippines.

“China now ranked fourth among the main sources of our tourist arrivals. There is a need, therefore, to increase the seat entitlements of our airlines because of this growth,” he said.

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