Friday, May 8, 2009

Expanded air pact - Philippines - Singapore

AIR links between Singapore and the Philippines have been expanded to allow for more flights between the two countries.

For travellers, this should result in more choices and hopefully, lower fares.

Under the new agreement which was inked following two days of air talks, Singapore carriers will be able to fly an additional 16 weekly Airbus 320 services to and from Manila.

The same entitlements have been accorded to Philippine carriers.

In addition, Singapore and Philippine carriers will also have greater access to and from other city points in the Philippines, such as Cebu, Davao and Clark.

Currently, airlines on both sides together operate more than 100 weekly services between the two countries - maximising the number of flights allowed under the previous air deal which was signed in August 2001.

Traffic between the Philippines and Singapore has grown by an average of 17 per cent annually since 2004.

Despite the global economic and traffic downturn, traffic grew last year by 12 per cent.

MOT said: 'This is no mean feat considering the decline of 2.2 per cent in international passenger traffic across the Asia-Pacific region.'

Its deputy-secretary (international) Lee Yuen Hee, who led the Singapore team in the negotiations said: 'The expanded agreement between Singapore and the Philippines demonstrates the commitment of both countries to develop closer aviation ties.

'The increased air services would further promote people-to-people ties, boost tourism and enhance bilateral economic relations.'

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