Philippines, Maldives seal deal for direct flights


The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation on Tuesday said the Philippines and the Republic of Maldives have signed an agreement for direct flights between the two countries.

After the two nations inked the agreement on air service on Tuesday, direct flights from Manila to Maldives and back are now closer to reality.

The deal will allow an initial 1,200 seats that can be flown by each party’s designated airlines per week between Manila and Maldives.

The flights originating from or destined for points outside Manila will be unlimited. This is in line with the Philippines’ pocket open skies policy which promotes other international gateways away from the capital.

The DOTr did not announce when the flight agreement would take effect.

According to the DOTr, the two nations met on April 16 and 17 to draft the agreement after it discussed preliminary proposals in letter exchanges in the past few months.

The meeting was attended by the Maldivian delegation, which included officials of the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority.

Philippine representatives from the DOTr, Department of Foreign Affairs Civil Aeronautics Board, Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labor and Employment also joined the two-day meeting.

Maldives is in the Indian Ocean, southwest of India.

In March 2018, the Ministry of Tourism of Maldives said it recorded a 17-percent increase on its tourist arrivals. —Rosette Adel