Philippines and Myanmar Achieve New Air Agreement

The Philippines and Myanmar sealed a new air agreement last week that the two countries hope will help to boost tourism and trade. According to the Civil Aeronautics Board, the two nations inked a new agreement that permits nearly 4,000 seats per week. 

Image Source: Cody Romano
CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said that the new agreement permits designated airlines of each country to fly up to 3,780 seats per week or approximately three flights per day between Manila and any point in Myanmar. The country of sixty million currently has three international airports. "Myanmar is a rapidly growing economy of about 60 million people, with a potential for the development of direct connectivity with the Philippines," said Arcilla. 

Both Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have expressed an interest in flying to Myanmar though neither carrier has confirmed any plans. The two sides also agreed on unlimited traffic rights between all points between the two countries with the exception of Manila. 

The last time an air agreement was signed between the Philippines and Myanmar was in July 1979. The older agreements had restrictive clauses on route structures and capacity. According to Jose Lotilla, Undersecretary at the Department of Transportation, an agreement with Myanmar offers great potential. "Myanmar is a country with great potential and is rapidly developing," said Lotilla. "It needs a lot of things, from infrastructure to even legal reforms and regulatory structuring."

Meanwhile, the Philippines is scheduled to hold further air talks with a number of other countries including Canada, Macau, South Africa, and Ethiopia. Talks with Canada are scheduled for May 27 to 28 in Manila with the aim of increasing flights to North America given the rising overseas Filipino population in Canada and the large population of Filipinos residing in the neighbouring United States. On the agenda with Canada is likely to be fifth freedom rights as Philippine Airlines is currently pursuing routes to destinations on the US East Coast with a stopover in Vancouver. 

The African nations of Ethiopia and South Africa are also rumoured to have pushed for air talks with the Philippines as the nations aim to build trade between the Philippines and the African continent. South Africa is currently the largest trading partner of the Philippines located in Africa. Last year, Ethiopian Airlines announced that it was planning to launch the first direct link between the Philippines and its hub in Addis Ababa via Hong Kong. The carrier was planning to even deploy its brand new 270-seat Boeing 787-8 aircraft but later decided to postpone the service due to the lack of fifth freedom rights between Hong Kong and the Philippines as well as the inability to acquire the preferred slot times at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. 

The Philippines has already concluded successful air negotiations with New Zealand, Singapore, and France this year. 


  1. As if there are thousands of passengers travelling between the RP and Myanmar...

    1. As If??? be positive dude...


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