PH president arrives in Myanmar aboard PAL A340 – President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III of the Philippines landed at Nay Pyi International Airport just after 3 pm, traveling on a chartered Philippine Airlines flight. The aircraft, an Airbus A340-313 bearing the tail number RP-C3438, carried the distinguished leader on flight 001.

President Aquino exiting the Philippine Airlines A340 jet in Myanmar upon his arrival. Photo by Ryan Lim, MalacaƱang Photo Bureau.

President Aquino expressed his intent to brief regional leaders on the advancements made by the Philippines in their filing before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. This pertains to the ongoing disputes over territories in the South China Sea.

The ASEAN summit is set against a backdrop of escalating tensions in the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, and China are all laying claim to various parts of these waters.

In a recent development, the Philippines has turned down a Chinese proposal to release a Chinese fishing vessel apprehended at Half Moon Shoal.

Recalling past diplomatic exchanges, President Thein Sein of Myanmar had visited the Philippines in December of the previous year, accepting an invitation from President Aquino.

President Aquino revealed in an ABS-CBN News report, "On 19 to 20 May this year, Philippine and Myanmar aviation officials will discuss in Yangon the air services agreement between the two countries, which may result in the first direct flights between the Philippines and Myanmar."

For short-haul flights, the Philippine President typically travels aboard the Philippine Air Force's F-28 Fellowship for Presidential airlift. However, for medium to long-haul flights, the president opts for a chartered flight operated by Philippine Airlines.