By Jeremy Torr |
From March 30, Istanbul-based Turkish will operate new scheduled services to Manila, starting with 3X-weekly flights but with plans to expand to daily.
“At first, we will have three direct [weekday] flights, then we’ll see if we can have daily flights,” the Turkish GM-Philippines Erhan Balaban said. He added that Turkish believes there are significant opportunities for the new route—most likely using Boeing 777-300ERs—and that the carrier “sees the Philippines as an important market for us.”
The Turkish launch comes on the back of a new air services agreement (ASA) between Turkey and the Philippines signed late last year, and will expanded with the addition of regular Saturday flights from October.
Similarly, Addis Abba-based Ethiopian Airlines will open up new service to Manila at the end of June. It will fly a one-stop route via Bangkok, Thailand using Boeing 787-8s, and follows the airline’s other new Asian route from Addis Ababa to Tokyo in April.
Like Turkish, Ethiopian plans 3X-weekly flights, on the back of a recently signed Philippines-Ethiopia ASA agreement.
The Philippines Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said the new routes are part of a drive to open new connections between the Philippines and the Middle East/Africa, and that both will offer new transit options for Filipinos traveling to both regions.
“These flights offer opportunities for the enhancement of our air connectivity and the development of our aviation network, especially [in] the emerging markets and growth areas in Africa,” said Philippines Civil Aeronautics Board executive director Carmelo Arcilla.