The Philippines and Brazil have just signed an air services agreement (ASA), allowing seven flights a week between Manila and any point in Brazil as well as unlimited flights between any point outside the Philippine capital and any point in the Latin American country.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) reportedly initiated negotiations with Brazilian authorities, one of several phases of a major expansion programme (see news) embarked on since leading conglomerate San Miguel Corporation bought into the once-ailing carrier.
The deal also includes fifth-freedom rights between both countries, which permits Philippine carriers to fly to points in South America via Brazil, and Brazilian operators to reach other destinations in Asia through the Philippines.
In recent years, Brazil has won positive world attention for a robust economy that has attracted a flood of investors – a similar scenario in Russia, India and China that has earned the soubriquet BRIC for these newly developed economies. Besides seeking to boost trade between the Philippines and Brazil, the Philippine government is keen to act as a gateway for Brazilians to the region as well as encourage them to explore more of the local islands. A visa-free arrangement exists between both countries.
Currently, only a few Asian operators fly to Sao Paulo – Singapore Airlines via Barcelona, Air China via Madrid, Korean Air via Los Angeles, Japan Airlines via New York and via Dallas and ANA via Frankfurt and Munich.
Margie T Logarta