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Philippines, Korea expand flight entitlements

The Philippines amended an air service agreement with South Korea, the top source of international visitors, raising the flight entitlements between the two countries by 13,000 seats a week.

Civil Aeronautics Board executive director Carmelo Arcilla said the two countries signed a new memorandum of understanding on air services that set air traffic entitlements between Manila and all international airports in Korea at 20,000 seats per week for each country from the current 13,500.

“It means that all airlines of the Philippines authorized to operate between Manila and all international airports in Korea can utilize a combined total of 20,000 seats per week,” Arcilla said.

He said the 20,000 seats per week would also be available for all the Korean carriers authorized to operate between Manila and Korea.

“Tourism arrivals from Korea have consistently been the biggest compared to arrivals from all other tourism source markets, with Korean tourists to the Philippines numbering 1,475,000 in 2016,” he said.

Eight Korean air carriers and five Philippine air carriers are currently operating between the Philippines and Korea.

Available data from the Tourism Department showed that Korea was the country’s top source of arrivals and accumulated 686,630 arrivals in the first five months of 2017 alone, with a market share of 23.82%.

This market has been producing more than 100,000 visitors in a single month since January, making it the top major source of visitors to the country.

Other big tourism markets of the Philippines were the United States, China, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Malaysia.

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