News Release

Restoring PH-New Zealand air links to boost tourism, trade – PBBM

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is keen to see increased tourism and trade flows between the Philippines and New Zealand through the restoration of air links between the two countries.

The Chief Executive is hopeful the two countries’ respective regulators and carriers could discuss the matter.

“Filipinos would love to go to New Zealand. And I do believe that New Zealanders would like to see the Philippines as well,” President Marcos said Tuesday during a meeting with newly designated New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Catherine Rosemary Mcintosh.

“So, I think that’s another area of interest that we should explore and hope to promote in your stay here, ” he added.

The President said both countries should definitely encourage connectivity given the economic transformation the Philippines is trying to do. The government is encouraging accessibility to smaller regional airports, he added.

The Manila airport, he said, is basically full so the government’s thrust is to bring to international specifications the country’s regional airports so that flights can go directly to places without passing through Manila anymore.

“We really are quite full. We need two new airports. We are in the process of building them but for now, I think the way to go is to provide access to the smaller regional airports, which are close to or within the tourist destination,” said the President.

“But then there’s the business [passengers] too and we are also trying to decongest Manila,” he said.

Mcintosh, who presented her letter of credence to the President, said it would be great to have direct air service from Manila to New Zealand restored, noting the volume of Philippine-bound passengers travel via Sydney, Australia.

“But a significant proportion of the Sydney to Manila passengers actually comes from New Zealand first. It’s a good proportion that I think we can make it commercially viable,” she said.

Marcos also raised the need for the countries in the Indo-Pacific region to speak together and at the very least come to a clear understanding of their concerns and adherence to the value systems and the international law.

All smaller countries must really bond together and “just make sure that the continuing freedom of navigation and trade in the region is safeguarded,” he said. PND