MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines and New Zealand have agreed to increase the number of flights between both countries.
The Philippines concluded air talks with New Zealand on late Thursday.
Carmelo Arcilla, executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), said the two countries agreed to increase the frequency entitlement for each side to 21 flights a week from the current three flights a week.
Arcilla said points outside Metro Manila should be unlimited, in line with current Philippine policy and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) multilateral agreements on air liberalization.
He said the two countries agreed to improve the fifth freedom exchange, which "allows Philippine carriers to operate fifth freedom to Australia and New Zealand carriers to operate fifth freedom to China."
"Although there are no immediate plans for any carrier to operate direct flights between the Philippines and New Zealand, given the small size of the current market, the enhanced fifth freedom can provide better opportunities for carriers to support start-up operations," the CAB official said.
Fifth freedom rights refer to the right to fly passengers to third countries from a country with which an airline's resident country has an outstanding air services agreement.
The Philippines and New Zealand delegations also agreed to allow third country code sharing for their respective carriers.
"Third country code sharing will allow the airlines to market indirect but more seamless services between the two countries, via cooperative agreements with third country airlines, which can help develop the market," he said.