Enhanced UAE-Philippines air service agreement: More flights, cargo, and connectivity

The governments of the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates have reached an agreement to expand their air service agreement (ASA) to meet the growing demand between the two nations.

Carmelo Arcilla, Executive Director of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), disclosed the successful outcome of recent air talks between the two countries.

He stated, “Last week, UAE and Philippine air talks were successful one. Both sides agreed to increase the flights of Emirates of Dubai from the current 18 flights a week in Manila to 21 flights in Manila.” This expansion comes as a response to increasing demand for air travel.

The negotiations occurred between the Philippine air panel and its UAE counterpart on September 19-20 in Cebu.

The Philippine air services negotiating panel includes representatives from various departments, such as the CAB, Departments of Transportation, Foreign Affairs, and Tourism, as well as Clark International Airport Corp. and local airline companies.

Arcilla noted that this increase in flights also applies to Cebu and Clark, with commitments to maintain these routes for at least three years to promote secondary gateways.

Additionally, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) encompasses an increase in air cargo capacity from 200 to 600 tons per week for each national carrier and the operation of Airbus A380 aircraft

In return, the Philippines has granted three flight entitlements between Manila and the UAE.

Arcilla expressed hope for more requests from local carriers as the economy recovers and more Filipino workers are deployed to the UAE, which is a top destination for overseas Filipino workers.

According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), in 2021, the UAE hosted approximately 14.4 percent of the total 1.83 million overseas Filipino workers.

Currently, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific operate flights to Dubai from Manila, catering to the growing travel demand between the two countries.