Business Skinning Left, pagematch: , sectionmatch: 1

Business ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: , sectionmatch: 1

Philippines eyes more foreign carriers

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is eyeing more foreign carriers to add to the existing capacity and mount flights to new destinations, as Routes Asia 2016, the largest aviation event in the region, takes place in the country.

“We don’t have the specifics yet. But we primarily target the carriers in the region first and possible airlines for the long-haul markets,” Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Benito Bengzon said during the Routes Asia 2016 Strategy Summit Sunday afternoon.

Although no formal partnership has been made as business-to-business (B2B) meetings are yet to occur until tomorrow, airlines being considered include KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, AirAsia Group, Shenzen South China Holidays, British Airways, Air New Zealand and Asia Landmarks among others.

Furthermore, Bengzon emphasized there is a strong confidence for the Philippines to leverage on its strategic position as a regional hub for fostering airline and tourism growth.

“Tourism and aviation have symbiotic relationship. Both sectors’ growth and development are linked with one another. Thus, tourism and aviation policies have to be aligned. We aim for a more liberalized civil aviation policy,” he said.

Adding to the country’s bid to expand air connectivity include the return of Philippine carriers to European skies and to Category 1 by the US Federal Aviation Administration that allow increased frequencies of existing routes.

Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Aside from new prospect carriers, the DOT also expects to promote the country as a multi-gateway destination and for more utilization of the regional airports and increase demand from the country’s top markets.

“This is also bringing us a step closer in achieving and making us a premier multi-gateway destination in Asia as embodied in our National Tourism Development Plan to improve market access, connectivity and destination infrastructure,” Bengzon added.

As 99 percent of travel to the country is by air, the DOT believes the Philippines is poised to take on the challenge for the increasing demand to connect people by air.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Abaya, for his part, said the government continues to implement initiatives and infrastructure projects to absorb and promote growth, including the completion of the rehabilitation of Terminals 1 and 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“The traffic congestion at NAIA is the consequence of the increased flying public. But we have consulted a British firm to help us optimize runway use with our main goal to safely increase air traffic movement and thereby allow more aircraft and passengers,” Abaya said.

Several airports outside Metro Manila are also being readied as part of the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) program such as in Iloilo, Davao, Bohol, Bacolod and Laguindingan.

“More than just tourism, this is important for the economic growth in this archipelagic country,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bengzon noted Routes Asia will serve as a venue for key players in aviation industry to discuss trends and challenges and to catalyze new business partnerships in the light of the high demand of air travel to and within the region.

The Philippines first expressed its interest to host the event in 2013 through the initiative of the DOT and the Mactan Cebu International Airport and was awarded in 2015 after some technical evaluation and inspection from the London-based United Business Media (UBM).

Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
  • Follow Us:
Business Skinning Right, pagematch: , sectionmatch: 1