A new air service agreement updating a 62 year-old pact, has been signed by the Philippines and Israel, allowing designated airlines to fly between any point in the two countries.
The agreement gives designated airlines of each country 21 flights per week and paves the way for Filipino carriers to fly indirectly to Europe.
The agreement includes three fifth freedom flights per week on one intermediate point in Mumbai and one beyond point in Madrid.
Philippine carriers will be allowed to unload and pick up passengers in India en route Israel. It also gives authority to unload and pick up passengers in Israel and to proceed to Madrid.
An air service agreement or a memorandum of understanding was signed by the Philippine and Israel in 1951. It allowed flights by national carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) to Israel in the 1950s and 1960s.
In 2012, 13,450 Filipinos visited the Israel, while only 5,895 Israelis came to the Philippines. Improved flight connections are seen helping the Philippines attract over 200,000 Israeli tourists bound Southeast Asia. The Israel Airports Authority believes that the new agreement will boost passenger traffic between Israel and the Philippines, and realize the large potential of visits by Philippine pilgrims to Israel. In addition, thousands of Filipinas currently work in Israel.