The Philippines wants to expand its air connectivity with Vietnam. (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA)
— The Government of Philippines wants to expand its air connectivity with Vietnam.

The Philippines is eyeing air talks in a near future with Vietnam—the first under the Duterte administration as well as for 2016 — to explore and expand air connectivity between the two nations, a government official said.

In an interview, Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) executive director Carmelo Arcilla said Vietnam has recently confirmed talks with the Philippines, but the latter would need time to prepare as the government transition was still ongoing.

Arcilla said new members of the Philippine Air Panel set a meeting for this week.

Part of the agenda would be to schedule the air talks with Vietnam, he said, adding that Vietnam is a growing economy.

He said the Philippines would want to discuss additional commercial opportunities.

These could include items not covered by Protocols 5 and 6 of the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement in Air Services, or MAAS, which the Aquino administration signed last February.

Under the agreement, Philippine air carriers will be allowed to fly "unlimited frequencies to and beyond the capital cities" of the ASEAN.

This was expected to lead to better and more efficient connectivity and translate to more competitive fares and services.-VNA