The Philippines is now a signatory to Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) air agreement that will increase Philippine air carriers to fly unlimited frequencies to and beyond the capital cities of other ASEAN nations, this is after President Benigno Aquino III signed Protocols 5 and 6 of the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement in Air Services (MAAS) last February 3.
The agreement will lead to better and more efficient connectivity and translate to more competitive fares and services within the ASEAN region.
“This will enhance regional trade and investment opportunities for Philippine businesses that are looking to expand their markets. It will also provide better access to Filipino individuals, such as professionals and students, who wish to explore job and educational opportunities in the ASEAN region,” said Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jun Abaya.
“We expect it to benefit our local tourism and service industries, as the agreement allows foreign airlines to increase their flights to Manila and other cities as well. Just as it will encourage more visitors to come to the country, Filipinos will also enjoy a wider array of flight options and ticket prices to the rest of the ASEAN,” Abaya added.
DOTC together with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will now assist Philippine air carriers in securing additional flight schedules with each of the nine (9) other member States of the ASEAN. Government targets to have new flights operational within the next six (6) months.
The MAAS is part of the ASEAN’s Roadmap for Integration of Air Transportation Services, essentially laying down the foundation for the envisioned ASEAN Single Aviation Market, which would in turn foster seamless connectivity within the region.