Several Airlines are taking a bigger interest in the Philippines after it approved the liberalisation of national aviation policy back in March. Though no deals have yet been signed, the move towards Open Skies has captured the attention of Jetstar Airways and Fly Guam who is interested in using Manila as refuelling station.
“There are many airlines who want to enter the Philippine,” Tourism Secretary Alberto A. Lim told reporters at a news forum at the Philippine Information Agency headquarters in Quezon City. “There are many more airlines which have expressed interest in the policy. However, it’s difficult to name names because there are no deals yet,” he added.
While many governments protect their industries for the benefit of national and domestic carriers, the Philippine government sees bigger and wider gains from an open skies policy. The strategy aims to liberalise Philippines’ traffic regime in all its nine international airports outside Manila. This is intended to encourage competition, as well as spur the growth of tourism, trade and investments in the country’s tourist hubs and newly developing economic centres.
However there are limits on the extent of liberalisation. Under no circumstances will cabotage rights be granted to any foreign carrier. This reserves domestic routes for Philippine based companies.