Australia, Philippines expand air services agreement

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Australia and the Philippines have negotiated a new air services agreement that allows for many more flights between the two countries.

The Australian transport minister, Anthony Albanese, says in a statement that the agreement now allows airlines from each side to offer 4,000 seats per week between Brisbane, Melbourne Perth and/or Sydney in Australia and Manila and/or Clark in the Philippines.

The limit was previously set at 2,500 seats, which Albanese says was "too low to satisfy current demand". He adds that "over time, and in response to demand, the new limit can be increased to 6,000 seats".

Philippine Airlines and Qantas Airways currently operate between the two countries. Philippine low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific said last year that it was seeking rights to serve Australia.