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Phl inks new air pact with Qatar

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines has signed an updated air agreement with Qatar that is expected to benefit about 250,000 Filipinos living and working in Qatar, an official from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said.

CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla said the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on air services, upgrading the last air agreement reached in 2009, was signed in Doha last May 28.

Arcilla said the agreement increased the maximum number of flights between Manila and Doha to 14 per week from eight per week.

He added that the parties also agreed on unlimited flights between Doha and other airports in the Philippines, except Manila.

Previously, the entitlements outside Manila were 14 flights per week to Clark and 14 flights per week to Cebu.

Currently, Qatar Airways operates eight times per week to Manila and seven times a week to Clark. It would be recalled that the airline reduced its flights between Manila and Doha to eight per week in November 2013 while its started operating in Clark also in 2013.

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Qatar Airways was seeking 13 additional weekly flights to Manila from the Hamad International Airport in Doha increasing the its number of flights to 21 per week.

This is the fifth air talks that would be conducted by the Philippines this year. It has so far signed new air agreements with Singapore, Oman, Australia, Mexico, and Qatar this year.

The government is pursuing more air talks as part of its open skies policy under Executive Order 29. The administration aims to double tourist arrivals to 10 million by 2016.

Last year, the Philippines concluded air talks with Ethiopia, South Africa, Macau, Canada, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore and France.   



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