The Philippines signed on Tuesday night its first air rights agreement with Finland. Philippine air panel members who went to Helsinki for the negotiations told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Wednesday that the agreement allocated four flights per week between Manila and Helsinki.
They added that the Clark Special Economic Zone, north of Manila, was assigned one daily flight plus 700 metric tons of cargo per week.
Another seven weekly flights will be distributed among other international airports in the Philippines.
Fifth-freedom rights to one point in Asia were also included in the allocation for Clark and other Philippine airports outside Manila.
Fifth-freedom rights may not necessarily work in favor of a Philippine carrier, though they are expected to boost incoming tourist numbers. Under this clause, a Finnish airline, such as Finnair, could go to a third country, such as Singapore, on its way to Clark and pick up passengers there before completing the route. A Philippine carrier taking off from Clark could pick up passengers from a third country in Asia before going to Helsinki.
Philippine Airlines has said it is not keen on reviving European routes for now because of stiff competition from state-subsidized Middle Eastern carriers.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said last month that Finnair wanted to open a Philippine route.