Filipinos can enjoy cheaper air fare from wide array of airline carriers in the ASEAN region in the next few months.
On February 3, President Benigno Aquino III signed Protocol 5 and 6 of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Multilateral Agreement in Air Services (MAAS) which results to the increased flying frequencies of Philippine air carriers to and beyond the capital cities of the ASEAN countries.
This agreement will translate to better and more efficient connectivities and more competitive fares and services within the ASEAN region.
Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jun Abaya is hopeful that the agreement will boost trade and investment opportunities for businesses who are planning to expand their market outside the country.
“This will enhance regional trade and investment opportunities for Philippine businesses that are looking to expand their markets. It will also provide better access to Filipino individuals, such as professionals and students, who wish to explore job and educational opportunities in the ASEAN region,” Abaya said.
Tourism and service industries are also some of the main beneficiaries of the agreement. The low fares will attract more passengers. Local tourists and foreigners alike can now visit many destinations in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and other world heritage and tourist spots in the region.
As more tourists are coming, hotels and resorts are expected to double or triple their income. Additional job opportunities are also anticipated.
“We expect it to benefit our local tourism and service industries, as the agreement allows foreign airlines to increase their flights to Manila and other cities as well. Just as it will encourage more visitors to come to the country, Filipinos will also enjoy a wider array of flight options and ticket prices to the rest of the ASEAN,” Abaya added.
The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), together with the DOTC, will help in securing additional flight schedules for Philippine air carriers to and fro within and outside each country in the ASEAN community.
MAAS is part of the ASEAN’s Roadmap for Integration of Air Transportation Services which lays the foundation for the envisioned ASEAN Single Aviation Market.