Philippines-Taiwan Sign New Air Service Agreement

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Manila, Aug. 8 (CNA) An amendment to an aviation agreement between Taiwan and the Philippines is expected to dramatically increase flights and open up tourism between the two countries, Taiwan’s representative to the Philippines said Saturday.

Gary Song-Huann Lin (林松煥) told CNA the Philippines already made it easier last month for Taiwanese to travel there when it launched an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) — an entry permit that can be obtained online — and he said this new revision would further boost exchanges.

Under the agreement, the first revision of the aviation pact for the first time in a decade, the number of passenger seats between the two countries will increase from 4,800 a week at present to 20,000 per week this year.

Capacity will further increase to 25,000 seats a week in 2016 and 30,000 seats in 2017.

Taiwan and the Philippines began discussing the idea of increasing passenger flights in mid-March.

The Philippines representative to Taiwan Antonio Basilio signed the amendment in Manila on Friday, while Lin signed it in the presence of Filipino civil aviation officials in Manila Saturday.

A source said, meanwhile, that one of Taiwan’s airlines is mulling increasing flights to the Philippines while another is considering starting service between Taiwan and the Southeast Asian country.

Taiwan’s two biggest airline, China Airlines and EVA Airways, currently offer regularly scheduled flights between Taiwan and Manila. 

(By Emerson Lim and Lilian Wu)


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