Maldives Wants Unlimited Flights From The Philippines

Business Mirror, a daily business newspaper, recently reported that Maldives wants unlimited air-transport deal with the Philippines.

Ibrahim Faizal, the Maldivian Civil Aviation Authority Chairman, said that his group is keen on signing an open-skies deal with the Philippine government. He added that they prefer an open sky which means everyone can fly without limits.

"What we want is not based on seats per flight, as far as we are concerned, as the Maldives has an open-sky policy", Faizal told Business Mirror. 

According to Carmelo L. Arcilla, Civil Aeronautics Board Executive Director, the air talks will be scheduled soon and is targeted to be held in the second quarter of 2018 in Manila. He added that they're trying to firm up the schedule which will be held on the second quarter. While demand for travel from the Philippines to the Maldives is quite low, signing the agreement with the country may prove to be beneficial for the local tourism industry, Arcilla added.

"This is going to be the basic agreement. Connectivity is always a catalyst to growth. There might be tourists coming from the Maldives who want to visit another destination, say the Philippines. We want to forge an aviation relationship with them. We have nothing to lose", Arcilla told the Business Mirror.

It is noted that the Maldives is a small island-state famous for its beaches and rich marine resources. Tourism is the country's main industry. To date, there is no existing bilateral agreement with the Maldives, as such, people coming from Manila will have to catch a connecting flight from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Tokyo, to get to the Maldives and vice versa.

The Philippine Airlines is reviewing the possibility of launching flights to the Maldives from Manila.