Direct flights from the Philippines to Myanmar will begin soon, following the former’s Civil Aviation Board recent granting of seat entitlements to AirAsia Zest and Cebu Pacific on the Manila-Yangon route.
In May, the two countries reached an air service agreement allowing airlines to fly between the two destinations.
Currently, Philippine nationals enjoy 14 days of visa-free travel in Myanmar, while Myanmar nationals are entitled to 30-day visa-free travel in the Philippines.
“Myanmar will be an alternative destination for Filipino tourists and Myanmar’s government extending visa-free privileges to Filipinos (last December) is a welcome support,” Joy Cañeba, AirAsia Zest CEO told TTG Asia e-Daily.
“To attract more inbound tourists, we hope that (our country’s) President will sign the ASEAN open skies agreement and open up the Philippines,” she added.
Cañeba said that the company has been receiving requests to fly to Yangon and other parts of Myanmar through social media platforms and also from numerous Filipino travel bloggers.
According to Marcus Allender, founder of Go-Myanmar.com, figures from 1H2014 show that Filipino visitors to Myanmar do not rank in the top 10 for Asian countries.
“I am sure that the recent allocation of a direct route from Manila to Yangon will help, but clearly the numbers show there is a lot of work to do to raise awareness in the Philippines of Myanmar as a tourism destination,” Allender said.
Source: TTG Asia