A Philippine-based travel services company hopes there will soon be direct flights between Manila and Moscow as President Duterte moves to forge closer ties between the Philippines and Russia.
Vita Travel Services, which has been appointed as general sales agent for Russia's flag carrier and largest airline Aeroflot, said Filipinos flying to Russia currently need a connecting flight as Aeroflot does not see commercial viability in mounting direct flights to and from Manila.
Despite this, Vita general manager Regina Laquindanum said sales for flights from Manila to Moscow have already risen 67 percent since last year when Duterte started courting Russia.
Laquindanum added that passenger flights and cargo shipments between Manila and Moscow may further increase after President Duterte's 4-day official visit to Russia.
She hopes that higher cargo shipment volumes to Russia will move Aeroflot to mount direct flights from Moscow to Manila.
Laquindanum added that exporters of furniture, electronics and agricultural products, especially fresh produce, will stand to benefit from increased flights to Russia.