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Phl to hold air talks with France, NZ, S’pore

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is set to hold air talks with France, Singapore, and New Zealand in the first quarter of the year, a ranking official of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said.

CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla said in an interview that the government is set to hold air talks with France in Paris starting tomorrow to kick off a series of negotiations with several countries this year.

Arcilla said Philippine aviation officials are scheduled to hold air talks with several European countries this year after the European Union lifted in July last year the ban preventing Philippine carriers from entering European airspace, imposed in 2010.

The EU lifted the ban on national carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) after the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) got a positive impression at the EU’s Air Safety Committee (ASC) in Belgium, paving the way for selective lifting of the ban on Philippine carriers to enter European airspace.

PAL, jointly owned by taipan Lucio Tan and diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp., mounted direct flights to London last Nov. 4 and is looking at launching more flights to other European countries this year including Amsterdam, Paris, and Rome.

The governments of the Philippines and France signed an air agreement way back in 1969 but the seat entitlements under the agreement are not being utilized.

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Last September, Philippines and Italy signed a new air agreement replacing the four decade old air pact. Both countries agreed to have 14 flights per week from only one flight a week under the air agreement signed in 1969.

 

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