New Delhi. 24 December 2020. The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has given its approval for signing the revised Air Services Agreement between India and Philippines.

The revised Air Services Agreement signifies an important landmark in the civil aviation relations between the two countries. It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both sides ensuring greater safety and security. It has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

It may be recalled that Philippines accepted India’s ASEAN offer after 13 years on bilateral Civil Aviation ties to strengthen between both countries in 2018. This relationship is going strong. In the spirit of India-Philippine friendship, stranded Filipino nationals were repatriated from the Indian cities of Mumbai and Delhi during COVID-19 lockdown. They landed in Manila on Air India aircraft which are operating under the Indian initiative tagged as Vande Bharat Mission, one of the largest evacuation program to repatriate stranded Indian nationals across the globe amid Covid-19 global pandemic. Under this same program, nearly 1800 stranded Indians have so far been evacuated from the Philippines to India through flights to different Indian cities from Manila and Cebu.

These were the result of close coordination between the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Civil Aviation of India and the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in New Delhi and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Philippines.