PH, Myanmar negotiate air service agreements

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The governments of Philippines and Myanmar will hold two-day talks from May 19 in Yangon to negotiate air service agreements.

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Civil Aeronautics Board Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said seat entitlements will be part of the discussions between the two governments.

The Philippines has no local carrier that flies to Myanmar.

Arcilla said Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific have plans to open routes to Myanmar to tap its emerging market and good tourism prospects.

The Philippines held successful air talks with the governments of France n January, Singapore in February and New Zealand in March.

Early this year, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced that beginning January 4, 2014, Filipinos holding ordinary passports may enter Myanmar without a visa and stay there for up to 14 days.

January 4 was the date the Agreement between the Philippines and the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar on the Visa Exemption for Holders of Ordinary Passports took effect, after it was signed during the State Visit to the Philippines of Myanmar President U Thein Sein on December 5, 2013.

The visa-free entry agreement is expected to boost tourism, trade, and investment between the two countries.

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 are to be opened to accommodate more foreign traffic.

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