The Philippines and India have signed a new and modernized air services agreement to further strengthen connectivity and mutual economic growth between the two countries.

The air services agreement was signed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation on Monday.

The DOTr said the agreement aims to promote international air services between the two countries’ respective territories, advance a quality international aviation system, and ensure the highest degree of air safety.

The agreement also opens the market for competition where multiple airlines can operate and more flights will be flown, helping spur competition and air connectivity for both countries, the agency said.

“This agreement is a critical enabler of the partnership, whether it may be in terms of people-to-people contacts, trade and investments, tourism, and culture interactions, and overall in bringing our two great democratic republics in Asia closer together,” Indian Ambassador Shambu Kumaran said.

In 2018, the 1949 Philippines-India air services agreement was amended and a new agreement was signed.

However, changes were proposed in 2020, which was then approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

“It is my hope that this new air services agreement will spur greater people-to-people, business and cultural ties between our two countries, and that it will ensure the highest degree of safety and security in international air travel between the Philippines and India,” Philippine Ambassador to India Nathaniel Imperial said.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade assured the public that the agreement would be implemented and put into reality for the mutual benefits of both countries.

“I hope today that the signing of the agreement will not just be limited to a relationship about an air bilateral agreement, but it is a relationship that goes far and beyond aviation. It will encompass other forms of business activity, economic activity in this country,” Tugade said.

Source: https://www.philstar.com/business/2021/09/29/2130353/philippines-india-ink-air-services-agreement