Palace welcomes new air pact with Italy-A A +A
Saturday, September 7, 2013
MALACANANG is expecting more tourists from Europe, particularly from Italy, with the signing of a new air agreement.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan said that the increase seat entitlements between the Philippines and Italy would also be a relief for some 17,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) there as they are expected to avail of cheaper air fares.
The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said this week that the Philippines and Italy have agreed to increase seat entitlements between the two countries during air service talks in Rome on September 5 and 6.
"Nakikita naman natin that despite the focus on negative news, marami pa ring positibong nangyayari. Isa ito, magiging magandang bagay ito doon sa mga OFW natin, na hindi na nila kailangang magpa-ikot-ikot, which essentially is mas mahal ang ticket, at puwede na ang mga direktang flight," Valte said.
She also said the increased flights between the Philippines and Italy will boost the Philippine tourism front, which has been posting continuous increase in the number of visitors entering the country.
The Department of Tourism has said that foreign tourist arrivals went up by 11 percent to 2.799 million for the first seven months to July this year.
Among the major sources of foreign tourists are South Korea, the United States, China and Japan.
"It's a good thing that the Philippines continue to post increasing tourist arrivals because of its multiplier effect domestically," the Palace official said.
"At mabuti naman na patuloy na umaakyat ito. ‘Yung mga turistang pumupunta dito, at makikita talaga na it's more fun in the Philippines, when they go back to their countries, they tell their friends, they tell their families and love ones, mga officemates nila," Valte said.
"And ito ang maganda kasi na-spread din by word of mouth ang mga magagandang nakikita nila dito sa ating bansa."
The CAB said both countries reached the new agreement after four decades. Under the new terms, the Philippines and Italy would have 14 flights per week. This number of flights is a tremendous increase from one flight a week since 1969.
The air service talks between the Philippines and Italy came after the European Union lifted its ban on Philippine air carriers, starting with Philippine Airlines, on July 10.
The Philippine Airlines previously said that it plans to fly to Amsterdam, London, Paris and Rome starting next quarter. (SDR/Sunnex)