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Thursday, December 29, 2011

CAB approves direct flights to Cambodia, but actual flights may still take time to happen

Direct flights from the Philippines to Cambodia may soon be a reality after the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) gave local carriers the greenlight to add frequencies for the neighboring country.

The Philippine carriers that received the flight frequencies are AirAsia, Airphil Express, Cebu Pacific, and Zest Air, according to industry regulator CAB.

However, it will take some time before actual flights to Pnomh Penh or Siem Reap can take off from the Philippines, CAB Air Operating Rights Division OIC Noni Godoy told GMA News Online in a telephone interview.

“Nasa planning stages pa ang mga airlines. Aayusin muna nila ang flight schedule, tapos mag-aapply sa amin for approval,” she said.

She added that CAB issued the go ahead to add frequencies in response to a bilateral agreement between Manila and Pnomh Penh, referring to the Dec. 8 meeting of the Philippines-Cambodia Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation in Pnomh Penh.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Erlinda F. Basilio and Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary of State Ung Sean headed the meeting, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement on Dec. 16.

Discussed during the meeting were efforts at developing bilateral cooperation, including air services and tourism.

“The Philippines and Cambodia agreed to conclude the agreements on culture and air services as soon as possible,” the DFA said.

But for now, travelers from Manila will still have to take connecting flights to get to Pnomh Penh or Siem Reap, usually from Thailand or Vietnam.

According to the Zest Air ticket, sales and cargo center , the airline still does not have direct flights to Cambodia.

The CAB is mandated by law to regulate, promote and develop the economic aspect of Philippine air transportation. — VS, GMA News

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