THE governments of the Philippines and Ethiopia signed an Air Services Agreement (ASA) on Wednesday under which the two governments agreed to have seven flights a week between Manila and Ethiopia and unlimited flights between Ethiopia and other airports in the Philippines.
“The Philippines and Ethiopia signed yesterday in Manila an Air Services Agreement that defined the aviation relationship and the exchange of traffic rights between the two countries. This is landmark event because there was no ASA between the two countries prior to this,” Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) executive director Carmelo Arcilla said in a text message.
The agreement allows for seven flights per week between Manila and Ethiopia and unlimited flights between Ethiopia and other airports in the Philippines except Manila.
The agreement also allows intermediate stops in Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, India and the Middle East.
The air talks were initiated by Ethiopia, given its aggressive expansion in Asia. Ethiopian Airlines now fly to Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Seoul.
CAB said that although the current traffic between the Philippines and Ethiopia is small, the ASA can open up new linkages between the Philippines and Africa, including the Middle East, given Ethiopia’s location in Northeast Africa and its being an aviation hub in that region. Ethiopia serves as a transit point for passengers from other African countries and the Middle East.
“The agreement therefore offers opportunities for the enhancement of our air connectivity and the development of our aviation network, especially that Africa is an emerging market and growth area,” Arcilla said.