Cebu Pacific (Philippines) Nominated in The Most Creative Campaign By Airlines

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Cebu Pacific is the lone airlines from the Philippines nominated in the “Most Creative Campaign by Airlines” category in SimpliFlying Awards For Excellence in Social Media 2014.

The SimpliFlying Awards for Excellence in Social Media honor airlines and airports that push the frontier of innovative marketing in this age of connected traveler.

Now on its fifth year, SimpliFlying Awards 2014 include 6 categories that will be judged on two levels: public voting (30% of total score) and a cross-section of established aviation and travel experts (70% of total score).

These categories are:

1. Most Creative Campaign by Airlines – the most memorable and innovative campaign from airlines since 2013. The campaign is judged on (a) Novelty Factor (2) Online engagement results (3) Other additional results or metrics the airlines wish to highlight

2. Best Airline on Social Media – demonstrates how social media and other digital technologies are consistently integrated into overall marketing and business strategy for the airlines, especially in the past two years.

3. Best Emerging Airline on Social Media – applies to airlines that just joined social media or have showed dramatic increase in social media activity in the past two years. Need to demonstrate how social media and/ or digital technologies are used to drive marketing goals for the airlines.

4. Best Customer Service using Social Media – need to demonstrate the ability to respond to and engage with customers on social media to create value and meaning relationships with them.

5. Best in Driving Revenue using Social Media – need to demonstrate the  ability to drive sales through innovative and targeted campaigns on social media.

6. Best Use of Emerging Platform by Airline – need to demonstrate how a particular platform (any platform excluding Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) is used to drive marketing goals for the airlines.

Cebu Pacific’s Entry “It’s Sunny In The Philippines”

Cebu Pacific partnered with Geometry Global in Hongkong. A QR code is spray painted on the sidewalks of Hongkong with water repellent paint. The QR code, which leads to CEB website for flight reservations and online ticket purchase, is only visible when it rains. The idea is to lure Hongkong residents to visit sunny Philippines during the monsoon season.

The campaign caught the attention of online news sites such as The Telegraph (UK), Conde Nast Traveler blog and the Daily Mail’s Mail Online.

Cebu Pacific Air is nominated in the Most Creative Campaign by Airlines category.

Ninoy Aquino Int’l Airport T3 To Be Fully Operational After 17 Years


The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 will finally be fully operational by the end of July, the Transportation department said, noting that it has been 17 years since the contract for the project has been awarded.

Five international carriers will transfer to NAIA-3 from NAIA-1 starting next week. Delta Airlines will fly out of the newest terminal by August 1. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, and Cathay Pacific will soon follow suit.

“We are extremely pleased to confirm that full airline operations will begin at NAIA Terminal 3 next week. Our gateway airport will now be able to welcome 3.5 million more passengers with modern facilities every year, “ Transport chief Emilio Abaya said.

The contract, awarded in 1997, was supposed to have been finished by 2002. Allegations of anomalous transactions with contractor Philippine International Air Terminals Co., Inc., and cases consequently filed, have stalled project completion.

The terminal opened in 2008, but has been operating at half its intended capacity of 13 million passengers. In August 2013, the government struck a deal with the original contractor Takenaka Corp. to complete the project pending resolution of cases.

“[T]he Japanese firm has undertaken completion works for systems such as, flight information displays, computer terminals, gate coordination, landing bridges, and fire protection systems” over the past year, the Transport department said.

Around 85 percent of the works had been completed, it added, noting that other systems “which are non-critical to full airline operations, such as the building maintenance system,” would likely be completed within the year.

The transfer of five airlines to NAIA-3 is expected to reduce NAIA-1’s annual passenger traffic to its design capacity of 4.5 million from its current rate of 8 million. NAIA-1, which has been tagged the worst airport in the world, is also undergoing renovation.

Abaya added that the five carriers transferring to NAIA-3 “have the highest volume of international flights coming in and out of NAIA, so we look forward to giving them a new home.” The move thus cuts he number of travelers affected by NAIA-1 works.

The Cabinet official said NAIA-3’s completion is part of the President Benigno Aquino’s promise of good governance. “We made sure that 17 years and 4 administrations later, the whole Terminal 3 facility may be enjoyed by the public,” Abaya said.

Source: Kim Arveen Patria

World Airline Awards 2014: World’s Top 10 Airlines

World's best airlines for 2014
World’s best airlines for 2014

World’s Top 10 Airlines 

1. Cathay Pacific Airways

2. Qatar Airways

3. Singapore Airlines

4. Emirates

5. Turkish Airlines

6. ANA All Nippon Airways

7. Garuda Indonesia

8. Asiana Airlines

9. Etihad Airways

10. Lufthansa


Best Inflight Entertainment

1. Emirates

2. Singapore Airlines

3. Turkish Airlines

4. Qantas

5. Cathay Pacific Airways

6. Virgin Atlantic

7. Qatar Airways

8. Air New Zealand

9. Virgin Australia

10. Etihad Airways


Best Cabin Crew

1. Garuda Indonesia

2. Cathay Pacific

3. Singapore Airlines

4. Asiana Airlines

5. Malaysia Airlines

6. Qatar Airways

7. EVA Air

8. ANA All Nippon Airways

9. Thai Airways

10. Hainan Airlines


Best Low Cost Carrier

1. AirAsia

2. Jetstar Airways

3. Virgin America

4. AirAsia X

5. Indigo

6. Norwegian

7. Jetstar Asia

8. easyJet

9. WestJet

10. Azul Airlines


Philippine Airlines: SMC-Lucio Tan Showdown


The alliance between the San Miguel conglomerate and Lucio Tan group in Philippine Airlines is at risk of breaking up, with one group likely to buy out the other and consolidate control of the country’s flag carrier soon.

For several months now, the Lucio Tan group has been pooling funds to buy back a 49-percent stake in PAL and reclaim management control from San Miguel Corp., which came in as a strategic partner in 2012 to support the carrier’s modernization and refleeting program.

Industry sources privy to the discussions said SMC president Ramon S. Ang, for his part, had agreed to sell back the conglomerate’s interest in PAL “at cost” as early as last year.

But if Tan’s group could not raise the money to buy back this stake, SMC would be the one to buy out the Tan family’s remaining 51-percent stake instead. It will be a “buy-me-out-or-I-buy-you-out” situation, leaving only one group at the helm of PAL, the sources said.

“It will happen very soon,” said one source familiar with the discussions.

SMC signed in 2012 a $500-million deal to buy into PAL and its affiliate budget carrier Air Philippines Corp., now rebranded as PAL Express, through several layers of holding companies.

The initiative by the Lucio Tan group to regain control of PAL is being done outside of publicly-listed holding firm LT Group Inc. (LTG) and mostly backed by the tycoon’s first family. The stake in PAL was among the assets that the Tan family did not infuse into LTG when it converted in 2012 what was previously a holding firm for liquor business under Tanduay Holdings into the umbrella group for its cigarettes, liquor, banking and property businesses.

Industry sources said that to boost this initiative to regain control of PAL, the flag carrier’s retired president Jaime Bautista was summoned back to act as executive assistant to Tan, who is still the airline’s chair. As one option, one source said the Tan group plans to tap some borrowings to raise the money.

Based on an estimate by people familiar with the business, Tan’s group would need to raise $1 billion to wrest control of PAL from SMC. This would include the cost of buying back the shares of SMC plus the advances made for the acquisition of many new aircraft under an ambitious refleeting program initiated by Ang.

While Ang had long been aware of an attempt by the group to reclaim PAL, sources from the SMC group said his attitude was that of a “wait-and-see” stance on whether the Tan group could in     deed raise $1 billion to do so.

They said that Ang, in the meantime, was likewise bracing for the possibility that SMC would be the one to buy out Tan’s stake in the flag carrier. It was earlier reported that SMC was set to buy out Tan’s remaining stake in PAL.

One recent trigger for the potential Tan-SMC break-up is a generous early retirement option recently offered by the Ang-led management to PAL employees, which the tycoon felt would not only front-load expenses but also weed out long-time lieutenants in PAL, industry sources said.

There were likewise some issues raised on the aviation supply arrangement with SMC-controlled Petron Corp. and the leasing of a big number of aircraft. Industry sources said that on the part of SMC, initiatives were only being undertaken to avail of synergies and improve PAL’s operating efficiency which, however, were interpreted differently by some people within the Tan group.

Finally, there were issues on certain Tan family privileges that were lost since the SMC management took over.

Other industry sources said that from the perspective of SMC management, on the other hand, the task at hand is to bring the carrier back to profitability.

Source: Doris C. Dumlao, Philippine Daily Inquirer


Philippines’ Worst Commercial Flight Disasters


MANILA, Philippines – With the Philippines as an archipelago, traveling from one place would usually entail crossing bodies of water, and while the nation has suffered some of the world’s worst maritime disasters, it also has its share of aviation accidents.

Here we list down commercial flight disasters with fatalities of at least 10 persons in the Philippines (data from

1. PI-CP8 (May 7, 1949) – A Philippine Airlines flight bound for Manila from Daet, Camarines Norte crashed into the sea as a “time-bomb had been placed aboard the aircraft by two ex-convicts. Ten passengers and the three crewmembers died when the DC-3 plane crashed.

2. PI-C270 (March 30, 1952) – The DC-3 of PAL crashed upon takeoff from the Baguio-Loakan Airport, killing 10 passengers and crewmembers our of 29 who occupied the plane.

3. PI-C294   (Jan. 14, 1954) –  The PAL DC-6 was on its way from Manila to London and stopped at Beirut. Upon approaching Rome at 6,500 feet the pilot lost control of the plane, causing it to crash and killing all 16 passengers and crewmembers.

4. PI-C133  (Nov. 23, 1960) – The PAL DC-3C departed Iloilo  for Manila on November 23, 1960 at 5;30 p.m., and its last position was reported by the crew at 6:33 p.m. The plane’s wreckage was found on Nov. 30, 1960 on the eastern slope of Mount Baco or 32 miles west of the airway. All 33 passengers and crewmembers of the plane perished. It was eventually ruled that the probable cause of the accident was a navigational error.

5. PI-C126 (Dec. 22, 1960) – Twentyeight of the 37 passengers and crewmembers died when the DC-3C of PAL crashed some 2.5 miles  upon takeoff from the runway of Cebu Airport. It was reported that the number 1 engine of the plane failed after takeoff. The plane was bound for Davao Airport.

6. PI-C489 (March 2, 1963) – All 27 passengers and crewmmebers died when the PAL DC-3 crashed into Mount Boca at  3,000 feet, 50 miles southeast of Davao.  The plane took off from the Cotabato-Awang Airport and was headed for the Davao City-Francisco Bangoy International Airport.  The probable cause of the accident was “navigational error.”

7. PI-C97 (Feb. 21, 1964)  – Of the 32 occupants of the plane, only one survived the crash of PAL DC-3. The plane took off from Malabang Airport at 3:40 p.m. and was bound for the Iligan-Maria Cristina Airport. The plane lost control when the weather turned from bad to worse. After the pilot requested the Iligan weather, the DC-3 struck a clump of trees on a ridge at 2,700 feet.

8. PI-C51 (May 20, 1964) – Eleven people died when the PAL DHC-3 Otter crashed. It is believed that the pilot of the plane, which took off from Siocon Airport and was headed for Zamboanga Airport, continued to fly despite the unfavorable weather over the jagged shoreline with practically zero visibility owing to heavy rain.

9. PI-C17 (June 29, 1966) – Only two of the 28 occupants of the plane survived when it crashed into a ravine of the northern slope of Mount Rabañgan.  The PAL DC-3 took off from Mamburao Airport and was bound for San Jose Airport. The probable cause of the accident was the “misjudgement of the terrain clearance of which resulted (in) the collision with trees.”

10. PI-C501 (Feb. 28, 1967) – Twelve persons out of 19 occupants perished when the PAL Fokker F-27 Friendship 100 crashed 1.5 kilometer away from the Mactan Island-Chicago Naval Air Base. The plane departed from Manila and was on its final approach when the pilot lost control at low altitude.

11. PI-C527 (July 6, 1967) – All 21 passengers and crewmembers died when the PAL Fokker F-27 Friendship 100 crashed into a mountain. The plane took off from Bacolod Airport and was on its way to Mactan Island-Chicago Naval Air Base .

12. PI-C1131 (Sept. 12, 1969) – Only two of the 47 passengers and crewmembers survived the crash of the PAL BAC One-Eleven 402AP when it struck a hill in suburban Antipolo at 760 feet during a runway approach. The plane took off from Cebu Airport and was bound for the Manila International Airport.

13. PI-C1022 (Apr. 21, 1970) – All 36 occupants of the PAL HS-748-209 died when the plane was enroute from Cauayan to Manila at 10,500 feet when an explosion occurred in the lavatory. The tail section separated and the aircraft crashed.

14. RP-C1028 (Feb. 3, 1975) – After two minutes upon take-off from  Manila runway, the PAL HS 748-226 reported that its number 2 engine was on fire. The flight was cleared for a runway approach, but crashed in a rice field. All 33 passengers and crewmembers died.

15. RP-C1161 (May 23, 1976) – It was reported that the PAL BAC One-Eleven was hijacked by six Muslim rebels and was forced to land at Zamboanga. The rebels demanded $375,000 and a plane to fly them to Libya. When security forces tried to storm the plane, a gun battle ensued. The rebels then set off some grenades, killing 10 passengers and three hijackers. The remaining three hijackers were caught and 75  passengers and crewmembers were rescued.

16. PR206 (June 26, 1987) – The plane took off from Manila on a domestic flight to Baguio. Weather was poor as the HS-748 approached Baguio, causing it to fly into the side of 2,100- meter high Mount Ugo.  All 50 passengers and crewmembers died.

17. PR443 (Dec. 13, 1987) – The plane departed Cebu and was bound for Iligan. The PAL Shorts 360-300 crashed into Mount Munay, a 5,000-foot high mountain. Fifteen persons were killed.

18. Cebu Pacific Flight 387  (Feb. 2, 1998) – The second-worst commercial flight disaster of the country with 104 passengers and crewmembers perishing when the the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 hit Mount Balacutan. The plane departed Manila at 9:16 a.m. and was on its way to Cagayan de Oro.

The flight made an unscheduled stop at Tacloban at 9:53 a.m. to deliver spare tires for a Cebu Pacific plane that was  stranded at Tacloban. After nine minutes, the plane flew again for Cagayan de Oro. Last radio contact was at 10:48 a.m. while flying over Claveria.

Local residents reported that they have heard an explosion near the 8,200-foot high Mount Balacutan.

19. Air Philippines 541 (Apr. 19, 2000) – Considered the country’s worst disaster, the Boeing 737-200 crashed into a coconut plantation in the hills of Samal Island.

The accident led to the death of all 131 passengers and crew on board. The plane took off from Manila and was bound for Davao City.

The plane, reports said, was flying too low.

Source: Philippine Star

Philippine Airlines Gets Go Signal to Fly Over Russia

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines has obtained regulatory approval to fly over Russia for its Manila to London route to cut travel time by as much as two hours while steering clear of any conflict areas, according to a statement issued Thursday.

MANILA, Philippines–Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has obtained regulatory approval to fly over Russia for its Manila to London route to cut travel time by as much as two hours while steering clear of any conflict areas, according to a statement issued Thursday.

PAL, the only domestic carrier with direct flights to Europe, said the new route allows a flight from Manila to reach London in about 13 hours and 30 minutes from 15 hours and 30 minutes.

The new route flies over most of Siberia, Russia, which the carrier said was faster than the old path, which was over Asia, Turkey and then the European continent.

“The route, which does not overfly any conflict zone, is the quickest option between Manila and London allowing PAL to save on fuel consumption while offering a much better product to its passengers,” PAL said in the statement.

Siberia makes up nearly all of Northern Asia and while it covers 77 percent of Russia’s territory, the preferred airspace is nowhere near conflict and no-fly zones.

“Earlier, PAL allayed passengers’ fears following the tragic crash over Ukraine that it continues to strictly follow regulations on flight paths and complies with all safety advisories covering allowed flight routes, areas of restriction or conflict areas,” PAL said.

It was referring to a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane that was shot and crashed over Ukraine last week, killing all 298 people onboard.

PAL had long sought to use Russian airspace, which would make markets in Europe more accessible given the improving business prospects, PAL president Ramon S. Ang earlier said.

Increasing efficiency was a key component in the carrier’s strategy to return to profitability by 2015, Ang said.

He said the company was eyeing other European markets even as PAL earlier this month announced details on an expanded code share agreement with Etihad Airways for the Manila to Abu Dhabi route.

PAL, which is jointly owned by San Miguel Corp. and the group of taipan Lucio Tan, is in the midst of a massive refleeting strategy.

Newer planes are expected to bring about $120 million in annual fuel and maintenance savings, it said.

Ang said the airline would see improved results as early as this year after it incurred a P11.85 billion loss in the nine months through the end of December last year, mainly due to the retirement of aging aircraft.

Source: Miguel R. Camus, PDI


Tigerair Launches New Domestic Routes

The 4 new routes are expected to serve passengers in time for the peak travel season in the Philippines.


MANILA, Philippines – Tiger Airways Philippines, a unit of budget carrier Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific), is beefing up its fleet as it pursues new domestic routes in the second half of 2014.

The low cost carrier is set to take the delivery of an additional Airbus A320 in December to beef up its existing fleet of 4 A320 aircraft.

Tigerair Philippines is also set to launch its Manila – Davao – Manila and Manila – General Santos routes on November 28 and its Cebu – Davao and Cebu – Cagayan de Oro on November 29.

The airline would fly daily between Manila and Davao and 5 times a week between Manila and General Santos.

On the other hand, Tigerair Philippines is set to fly two times a week between Cebu and Davao as well as between Cebu and Cagayan de Oro as part of efforts to strengthen its Cebu hub.

Tigerair Philippines would use an Airbus A320 for the new routes.

The airline currently flies to Cagayan de Oro via Manila.

The airline now operates over 230 weekly flights to Hong Kong, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Manila, Puerto Princesa, and Tacloban.

Wider Network

“With these 4 new routes, we will be able to serve [passengers] in time for the peak travel season in the Philippines,” Tigerair Philippines chief legal and corporate affairs Attorney Leilani de Leon said.

Gokongwei-led budget carrier Cebu Pacific and Tiger Airways Singapore Holdings Ltd have created the biggest network of flights from the Philippines to the Asia Pacific regionthrough the implementation of an interline agreement.

Tigerair also sought an additional 1,260 seats for flights to Macau from Manila.

Tigerair Philippines also filed a separate application with the Civil Aviation Board seeking 1,260 weekly seats for the Manila-Yangon route.

Cebu Pacific spent $7 million to acquire the 40% stake of Tiger Airways Singapore Pte Ltd in Tigerair Philippines, and $8 million for the 60% stake held by Filipino businessmen.


Cebu Pacific Seeks More UAE Flights



MANILA, Philippines – Gokongwei-led budget carrier Cebu Pacific is seeking more flight entitlements to the United Arab Emirates.

Cebu Pacific filed a petition before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) seeking the reallocation of two unused weekly frequencies, which were previously allocated to Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL).

“Notice is hereby given that Cebu Pacific has filed with the CAB an application for reallocation of additional entitlements to UAE two unused weekly frequencies previously allocated to PAL in accordance to the existing Confidential Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of the Philippines and UAE in September 2012,” CAB said in a notice.

Cebu Pacific currently flies to Dubai, but it is looking to expand its long-haul operations. It will start flying to Kuwait on September 2 and Sydney, Australia on September 9.

Meanwhile, AirAsia said it will increase the number of flights between Kalibo and Kuala Lumpur to seven times a week starting October 23. AirAsia currently flies between Kalibo-KL four times a week.

“With this additional frequency, guests who are travelling on this route can connect to both Kuala Lumpur and Kalibo on a daily basis, and this will enable them to further take advantage of our vast route network, especially via Kuala Lumpur. Kalibo is a great gateway to Boracay, and we are proud to be the airline that offers the best connectivity to this paradise island from Malaysia with our daily flights,” Spencer Lee, AirAsia Berhad’s Head of Commercial, said.

AirAsia currently has twice daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Manila, and three times a week flights from Kuala Lumpur to Cebu. It also has daily flights from Kota Kinabalu to Manila.



Cebu Pacific, Tigerair Create Biggest Interline Network of Flights


MANILA, Philippines – Gokongwei-led budget carrier Cebu Pacific and Tiger Airways Singapore Holdings Ltd have created the biggest network of flights from the Philippines to the Asia Pacific region through the implementation of an interline agreement.

The interline agreement is part of a wide-ranging strategic alliance entered into by the two carriers earlier this year and will enable both to leverage their respective strengths to enhance network coverage and joint market routes.

Both airlines are set to offer trademark low fares and fun flights to each other’s passengers, Cebu Pacific president Lance Gokongwei said Tuesday, July 22.

Tigerair’s network reinforces Cebu Pacific’s strong presence in Asia, and expands the network with new destinations in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Maldives and Thailand, Gokongwei added.


The first interline flights will be available for sale on the Tigerair website from July 23 and available on the website of Cebu Pacific starting September.

Seamless Connections

Travelers could enjoy seamless connections between the two airlines, with one-stop ticketing for connecting flights and baggage check-in. The ability to cross-book flights on a single itinerary would pave the way for greater connectivity between the two carriers, allowing customers to connect seamlessly within Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

Specifically, Tigerair’s customers will be able to fly from Southeast Asia to 34 Philippine cities, Korea and Japan on Cebu Pacific’s network. Cebu Pacific’s customers in the Philippines will be able to add Tigerair’s destinations in Australia (via Perth), China, and India to their flight itineraries. Customers on such extended itineraries will be able to connect through Singapore Changi Airport and Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines.

“The interline arrangement harnesses the strengths and networks of Tigerair and Cebu Pacific. We look forward to offering greater convenience to customers with the increased flight frequencies, enlarged network, and more seamless options for both business and leisure travel,” Tigerair chief operating officer Ho Yuen Sang said.

Cebu Pacific spent $7 million to acquire the 40% stake of Tiger Airways Singapore Pte Ltd in Tigerair Philippines, and $8 million for the 60% stake held by Filipino businessmen.


Tigerair & Cebu Pacific Seek More Flights To Macau


MANILA, Philippines – Budget airline Cebu Pacific and unit Tigerair Philippines are seeking additional seats for flights between Manila and Macau, according to documents from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

In separate applications with CAB, Cebu Pacific asked for additional 1,162 weekly seats, while Tigerair sought an additional 1,260 seats for flights to Macau from Manila.

Cebu Pacific is now awaiting congressional approval of its $15-million acquisition of Tigerair after getting the nod of CAB.The Gokongwei-led airline spent $7 million to acquire the 40% stake of Tiger Airways Singapore Pte Ltd in the Philippine unit, and $8 million for the 60% stake held by Filipino businessmen.

Cebu Pacific is also in the middle of a $4-billion refleeting program involving the acquisition of about 50 Airbus aircraft. It is scheduled to take delivery of 11 more Airbus A320s, 30 A321neos and two Airbus A330s between this year and 2021.

On July 11, AirAsia Zest, jointly owned by AirAsia Philippines and Zest Airways, asked CAB for additional 720 weekly seats for the Manila-Macau route.

Air Service Agreement with Macau

Presently, there are air services among Macau, Manila, and Clark. The Manila services are operated by AirAsia Zest, Cebu Pacific Air, and Philippine Airlines with a total of 19 frequencies per week. The Clark services are operated by Cebu Pacific Air with 4 frequencies per week, the Civil Aviation Authority of Macau (CAA) said.

The Philippines pursued another round of air talks with Macau to amend the air pact signed last year as it is set to become a gateway to Hong Kong, as well as other cities in China.


The Philippines and Macau inked a new air service agreement raising seat entitlements between the two countries by 56% to 7,020 per week from the current 4,500, CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla announced in June.

In case all 7,020 weekly seats become fully utilized by the carriers, the new agreement contains a provisional clause that will automatically raise the weekly seat entitlements to 10,000 seats without need for further negotiation, Arcilla said.

Other Air Talks

The country signed air service agreements with France in January, Singapore in February, New Zealand in March, and Myanmar and Canada in May.

In 2013, the Philippines signed agreements with Japan, Macau, Brazil, Australia, Israel, and Italy.

Air talks with Malaysia scheduled April 3 and 4 were called off as authorities in Kuala Lumpur were preoccupied with the search for the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The Aquino administration is pursuing air talks as part of its open skies policy.

Under Executive Order No. 29, airports other than the Ninoy Aquino International Airport will be opened to more foreign traffic.

The new air agreements will help address the country’s target of attracting 10 million tourists by 2016.