UAE, Philippines Signs Agreement To Boost Air Connectivity


The UAE and the Philippines inked a first agreement to boost air connectivity between the two nations, including the approval of the start of Airbus A380 flights, in response to rising travel demand. The preliminary agreement also calls for expanding national carrier flights and doubling air cargo volumes to 600 tonnes per week for each state-run national airline. 

Following a round of meetings last week, the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and its counterpart, the Philippines' Civil Aeronautics Board, inked the initial agreement in the province of Cebu. The UAE's policies have led to "adopting an open skies policy, which has boosted its competitiveness, openness, and economic flexibility, as well as its regional and global leadership", Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of the GCAA, said.

“The GCAA prioritises strengthening aviation co-operation frameworks in strategic markets for national carriers to support their operations in international markets and ensure their direct access to economic, commercial and tourism markets,” he added.

Dubai-based Emirates, the world's biggest long-haul carrier, operates the biggest fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbos. The airline currently operates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to the Filipino capital city of Manila, as well as Cebu and Clark, its website states, as per thenationalnews.

Emirates runs 18 weekly flights to Manila using a three-class Boeing 777, making it the only carrier offering a first-class cabin on flights to the city. It also operates daily flights to Clark through Cebu on a three-class Boeing 777 widebody aircraft. The preliminary agreement to strengthen aviation connections comes as the Philippines aims to enhance investment from the UAE and the rest of the Middle East as it executes a number of reforms and offers incentives to improve infrastructure development and the economy.

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