Sep 072013

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) – The Philippines and Italy recently agreed to increase the number of air flights bound for both destinations after the European Union lifted its ban on Philippine air carriers last July, a senior official said here today.

The development would be a boost to the country’s tourism sector and a relief to Filipinos working in Italy, said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.

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.

“This is one of the good news particularly to the OFWs (overseas Filipino workers). They do not need to make long trip, (because) they could now take direct flights,” Valte said in an interview over a state-run radio station on Saturday.

At present, there are 170,000 Filipinos working or staying in Italy.

Valte said the increased flights between the two countries will boost the Philippine tourism front, which has been posting continuous increase in the number of visitors entering the country.

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The Philippines’ Civil Aeronautics Board said earlier that the Philippines and Italy had agreed to increase seat entitlements between the two countries during the air service talks held in Rome on Sept. 5 and 6.

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.

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