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Tourism Groups Hail 'Open Skies'

MANILA, Philippines - The Federation of Tourism Industries of the Philippines (FTIP) yesterday welcomed the signing of two executive orders allowing a partial open skies policy in secondary airports.

In a statement, FTIP president Alejandra Clemente said Executive Orders 28 and 29 signed by President Aquino last March 14 were aimed at liberalizing the entry of foreign airlines with a view to increasing air traffic into the country.

  • Clemente said connecting the Philippines to the network of countries in Southeast Asia will also create livelihood opportunities in the countryside.
  • “There are four billion people in the Asia-Pacific Region and at least 151 million outbound travelers per year,” she said.
  • “There will be increase not only in air seat capacity but room capacity which will generate jobs and foreign exchange receipts which will help pump prime the Philippine economy.”
  • EO 28 is for reorganizing the Philippine Air Negotiating Panel (PNAP) and the Philippine Air Consultation Panel (PACP), and EO 29 authorizes the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) and the Philippine Air Panels to pursue more aggressively the international civil aviation liberalization policy.
  • EO 29 gives secondary gateways outside of NAIA the opportunity to be connected to international and local markets and bring in tourists directly to destinations that will be developed under the National Tourism Development Plan.
  • Clemente noted that EO 29 strengthens EO 219 signed by former President Fidel Ramos which liberalized civil aviation to encourage the entry of more domestic and international players.
  • “Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, Sea Air, Zest Air were established since this EO (219) was implemented. The competition they generated resulted in more services to several and underserved destinations, more choices for the traveling public, and cheaper air fares,” she said.
By Helen Flores
Source: The Philippine Star
Updated March 27, 2011 12:00 AM

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