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Israel and the Philippines have sealed a new air services agreement to boost the movement of tourists between Manila and Tel Aviv.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and Israel Ambassador Menashe Bar signed the agreement. Israel is the biggest tourist destination of Filipinos in the Eastern Mediterranean, but there are no direct flights between Manila and Tel Aviv, prompting Filipinos and Israelis to take connecting flights.
The Philippines successfully negotiated a new air services agreement with Israel in November 2013, allowing airlines from Manila to fly to Tel Aviv. The new deal updated the air services agreement signed by the two countries in 1951.
This agreement will allow Filipinos the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the Pope and make the pilgrimage to the Holy Land an easier one, the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines said.
The agreement also gave designated airlines of the Philippines and Israel 21 flights per week.
The Philippines and Israel agreed on co-terminal and stop-over rights to any third country for the 21 flights. They also agreed on three fifth freedom flights per week on one intermediate point in Mumbai and one beyond point in Madrid.