DOT: Turkish Airlines to launch daily flights to Manila in 2016

October 21, 2015 6:17 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Oct. 20 (PNA) — Daily flights between the Philippines and Turkey are set to start next year following the successful launch of Turkish Airlines’ inaugural Manila-Istanbul flight in March, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Tuesday.

Since March 30, Turkish Airlines began serving flights to Manila thrice a week (Mondays, Wednesday, and Saturdays), through Airbus A340s. The airline is set to upgrade its A340-300 aircraft with bigger 777-300 ER aircraft next week.

In an interview, DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. told reporters that the increase of flights between both countries was a clear indication that “(air) talks have taken a more strategic approach.”

“By February of next year, the three daily flights of Turkish Airlines (Manila-Istanbul) will go up to seven flights a week or daily,” Bengzon said.

“It’s a perfect example of how air talks or additional entitlements have resulted in a bigger volume of tourists,” he added.

Visitor arrivals from Turkey during the first eight months of the year reached 3,923, an increase of about 42 percent compared to the 2,749 in the same period last year.

Though Turkey is not part of the country's top 12 markets, the DOT remains hopeful that the Turkish Airlines' additional flights will help increase the number of Turkish tourists visiting the Philippines.

At present, the agency plans to forge partnerships with the airlines to identify possible wholesalers and retailers of Philippine tourism packages in Turkey.

For the first time, the Philippines is set to participate in the 20th East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition (EMITT) in Istanbul, Turkey in January next year. (PNA)

RMA/BNB/ANP

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