Manila-Tel Aviv flights in final hurdle Print

Pushing closer to a final flight path, the Philippine Government is in final talks with Saudi Arabia on the rights to fly over the country’s airspace when Philippine Airlines launches Manila-Tel Aviv flights this year, according to local media reports.

Philippine Transportation Undersecretary Manuel Tamayo said: “We have rights already as far as Israel is concerned. Hopefully, we should get to overfly Saudi Arabia to Israel. So we’re pushing for the signing of the overfly agreement by this quarter, as Israel is a seasonal market. Most passengers would like to travel there during the cold months.” Tamayo added that flying over Saudi Arabia will allow carriers to save at least one hour of travel time on the Manila-Tel Aviv route.

Israel and the Philippines signed a bilateral air services agreement in 2013, but so far no direct flights have been established. However Tamayo stressed that national carrier Philippine Airlines is keen on launching flights from Manila to Tel Aviv. Until last year Saudi Arabia had refused to allow aircraft headed to Israel to fly over its territory, however in March last year Air India was able to launch Delhi-Tel Aviv flights that fly over the kingdom.

(Issue Feb 2019)