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Philippines carriers given green light to operate US flights
Marianne Carandang, Manila, April 10, 2014
THE US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has restored the Philippines to Category 1 status according to the international aviation safety standards as set out by ICAO.
This follows a review of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) conducted last month that found it to have met standards in technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures.
With the safety status upgrade, Philippine airlines can operate flights to the US and carry the code of US carriers.
The Philippines held Category 1 rating until January 2008, when it was downgraded.
Aileen Clemente, executive vice president of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, said the body was “delighted and excited" about the development.
"This will hopefully provide more optimal connectivity (to the) Trans-Pacific area," she said, adding that this would allow the Philippines to be an Asian hub. 
PAL executives confirmed that they were in the process of preparing a statement, but were awaiting formal confirmation by the CAAP, and would release the statement today or tomorrow. 
Cebu Pacific Air vice president for corporate affairs, Jorenz Tañada, said: “We congratulate CAAP at this most significant achievement. We are excited at the prospect of flying to the US. This can only bode well for the Philippine aviation industry in general and Philippine carriers in particular.”
The EU last year rescinded its ban on national flag carrier Philippine Airlines (TTG Asia e-Daily, July 11, 2013) and the airline has since unveiled plans to launch services to Europe (TTG Asia e-Daily, September 18, 2013).
The FAA Category 2 status was viewed by the industry as the last hurdle for Philippine aviation after the lifting of the EU ban. 


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