South Korea has liberalised air traffic rights to Manila, which it hopes will spur an increase in flights from its secondary airports to the capital of the Philippines. 

The country’s transport ministry says, effective 4 July, it has lifted a 20,000-seats-per-week cap for flights between Korea and Manila, though it made an exception for services between Seoul Incheon and Manila. 

Korean Air 737-900ER

Source: N509FZ/Wikimedia Commons

Ministry officials will cap the number of seats available for flights between the capital cities to 30,000 seats per week, still a significant jump from the previous limits. 

Six carriers currently operate daily flights between Manila and Seoul Incheon: Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air, Philippines Airlines (PAL), Philippines AirAsia and Cebu Pacific. 

Says Kim Young-guk, the ministry’s director of aviation policy: “Until now, flights between (Korean secondary cities) and Manila have little service due to limited traffic rights. We hope that the secondary city airports will be revitalised (with the liberalisation) and the convenience of travel be improved.”

Apart from Seoul Incheon, PAL operates to Busan from Manila. There are currently no operators between other Korean airports and Manila.