July 4, 2011 (LBO) – Aviation authorities in Philippines want to expand air links with Sri Lanka in talks set for July to take forward the country’s ‘open skies’ policy and boost tourism, a media report said. Phillippine Daily Inquirer newspaper said the country’s Civil Aeronautics Board was seeking space to increase flights to the country after the government allowed international flights to airports outside Manila.
Philippines had already signed a liberalized air services deal with Malaysia which allows an additional 2,530 seats a week between Kuala Lumpur and Manila, on top of an existing 2,300 and unlimited flights to regional airports.
“The liberalization of air rights, which local airlines have opposed for fear of competition from bigger carriers in the region, is seen as key to the government’s goal of doubling foreign tourist arrivals to six million by 2016,” the newspaper said.
Manila was also seeking to open skies to Vietnam and Indonesia the report said.