Plans for direct flights from the Philippines

Last updated 14:49 23/04/2014

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Philippines budget airline Cebu plans to launch direct services to Auckland next year.

Cebu has applied to the Filipino aviation regulator for the right to fly daily services to New Zealand under a bilateral agreement that allows for up to 21 flights per week between the two countries.

Cebu spokeswoman Michelle Pestano-Fojas said the airline was looking into launching services to New Zealand from next year, but it was interested in flying only to Auckland.

"We study new routes all the time, and the Philippines to New Zealand market is one we've indicated that we are interested in serving," Pestano-Fojas said.

"Air rights are the first and necessary step in the process."

The service would target New Zealand's growing Filipino population, including immigrants, students and workers.

Tourist numbers from the Philippines grew to 7500 in 2013, up from 5500 in 2011.

Auckland International Airport said it regularly talked to airlines about new services, but would not confirm if it was in talks with Cebu.

The bilateral air services agreement between New Zealand and the Philippines was extended last month from three weekly flights.

No direct services currently fly the route.

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