Singapore, Philippines ink deal to boost air connectivity

Singapore and the Philippines signed a new aviation deal on May 9th that will significantly increase air travel capacity between the two countries over the next few years.

The Memorandum of Understanding upgrades the bilateral Air Services Agreement first established in 2010 and last amended in 2015. It removes restrictions on the number of codeshare flights that airlines from each country can operate.

“It is important to provide a favourable regulatory environment so that our carriers can capitalise on new business opportunities,” said Yee Ping Yi, Singapore’s Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Transport. “This MOU will facilitate improved air connectivity between and beyond both countries and is a win-win outcome for both countries.”

Previously, Singapore and Philippine airlines could only codeshare on 35 weekly passenger flights between Singapore and Manila.

Under the new agreement, that cap increases to 150 weekly codeshares immediately, doubling to 300 by end of March 2026, and then being eliminated entirely by end of March 2027.

The deal also scraps limits on codeshare flights between Singapore and other cities in the Philippines, as long as the partners are from ASEAN nations or the European Union.

Another key provision allows Philippine air carriers owned or controlled by foreign nationals to use the traffic rights, as long as their principal place of business is in the Philippines. This expands on the prior rules which only applied to Philippine carriers under domestic ownership and control.

The upgraded aviation pact is expected to boost tourism and business travel between the two countries by allowing airlines to better capitalize on passenger demand through expanded codesharing capabilities.

Dirk Andrei Salcedo Avatar

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