Source: Business World Online
THE PHILIPPINES will hold air service talks with Israel and Russia before the end of the year to secure seat entitlements from those countries, officials of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said.
“The next air service talk is in Israel on Nov. 4 and 5,” Jesus F. Ibay, officer-in-charge of the CAB’s planning and research division, said in a chance interview.
“We will have air service talks with Russia in November or sometime in December, but there is still no confirmed date,” he also said. The talks with Russia will be held here in this country.
The Philippines has existing air service agreements with Israel and Russia. However, these ASAs are considered outdated, as they were inked in the 1960s or ‘70s, Mr. Ibay said.
He could not immediately provide the existing seat entitlements from Israel while the Philippines has none from Russia. To date, no local airline flies to either country.
“They (Russia) wanted to meet with us; so do we, because we do not have entitlements, just routes. But there are chartered flights,” Mr. Ibay added.
Asked if it is possible for two countries to have an ASA with no entitlements, Mr. Ibay clarified: “It’s possible; just the route structure and the general agreement contained in ASA.”
“PAL (Philippine Airlines) has expressed its interest to fly to Russia; Cebu Pacific might ask for entitlements with the delivery of their long-haul planes,” he said.
“PAL is intending to fly to Israel; that’s why we are arranging talks with Israel,” he added.
Mr. Ibay said that the Philippine air panel’s main target markets for Israel are pilgrims and overseas Filipino workers.
“There were Russian groups who want to go to the Philippines via Vladivostok,” Wyrlou E. Samodio, who heads the legal division of CAB, also noted. — Lorenz Christoffer S. Marasigan