Russian Air Talks Targeted for February

The Civil Aeronautics Board is hoping to meet with Russian officials as early as next month in order to expand the air service agreement of the two countries. 

philippines russia air talks
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According to Carmelo Arcilla, Executive Director of the Civil Aeronautics Board, the meeting was originally scheduled for November but was postponed at the request of Russia due to internal concerns. 

"We are looking at scheduling the air service talks with Russia this February or March," said Arcilla. "But it still depends on the other end if they agree to the schedule."

The Philippine government is eager to negotiate an air agreement with Russia in the hopes of allowing local carriers to mount flights to the nation in an effort to further boost tourism. 

"Russia is a potential market for the Philippines," said Arcilla. "It's a fast growing economy with an increasing number of travelers."

Statistics from the Department of Tourism indicate that visitation from Russian tourists was up in the first eight months of 2013 with a 32.53% increase over the same period in 2012. That is in spite of the fact that no airlines presently provide regular scheduled services between the Philippines and Russia. Philippine Airlines recently began operating charter flights late last year between Manila and Vladivostok. 

The last time an air agreement was signed between the Philippines and Russia was in the 1960's or 1970's. Although a mutual air service agreement exists, neither country bears rights to fly directly to the other country. Only general terms and route structure are outlined in the original agreement. 

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