FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines plans to double its flight frequencies to Canada following the successful conclusion of air talks between the governments of the Philippines and Canada.
“With the successful conclusion of the government-to-government air talks, we look forward to flying twice daily to Canada and offering our passengers greater flexibility and choice,” PAL president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said in a statement.
With the Philippine government panel securing an additional seven flight frequencies per week to Canada, PAL said it will file its manifestation before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to secure the entitlements.
Once approved by CAB, the entitlements will increase PAL’s total flight frequencies per week to Canada from seven to 14.
At present, PAL flies seven times weekly to Vancouver and three times weekly to Toronto via Vancouver.
On May 28, the governments of the Philippines and Canada signed an agreement to increase the frequency entitlement for each country from seven flights to 14 flights a week.
“The Philippine and Canadian delegations signed today [May 28] an amendment to the existing Phil-Canada Air Services Agreement that was last amended in December 2008,” CAB director Carmelo Arcilla told reporters in a text message.
He said the two parties also agreed to allow the airlines of both sides to enter into third-country code sharing.
A code-share agreement, or simply code share, is an aviation business arrangement where two or more airlines share the same flight. A seat can be purchased on one airline but is actually operated by a cooperating airline under a different flight number or code.
Currently, Philippine Airlines is the only airline operating to Canada under the agreement flying seven times per week.
Data from the Department of Tourism (DOT) show that a total of 884,014 visitors were received by the Philippines from January to February this year, representing a 3.49 percent increase over the same months of 2013 with registered arrivals of 854,187.
The month of January saw 461,383 visitors or a 5.8 percent increase, while the month of February had 422,631 visitors reflecting growth of 1.08 percent.
The DOT data showed that Canada is among the top 10 visitor markets.
The Philippine government is pursuing air talks as part of its open skies policy. Under Executive Order 29, airports other than the Ninoy Aquino International Airport will be opened to more foreign traffic.