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Manila, Singapore OK Airline Deal

August 24, 2001

SINGAPORE (AP) _ Singapore and the Philippines will sign a pact to increase airline seating capacity between their countries in a bid to boost tourism, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said Friday.

The agreement, to be signed Saturday, will raise the combined total of seats on Singapore Airlines and Philippine Airlines flights between the two countries to 8,500 per week from 6,500 now, Arroyo said during her first visit to Singapore as president.

The move is aimed at building tourism in the two Southeast Asian neighbor countries, Arroyo said in a speech.

The Philippines’ tourism industry has been hurt by a spate of kidnappings by separatist rebels and crime gangs. Four Singaporeans were among those kidnapped.

Tourism is also a vital industry in Singapore, a wealthy city-state that has no natural resources and is currently in the throes of a recession.

During her visit to Singapore, Arroyo is expected to try to foster greater economic ties between the two countries. She’s leading a delegation of Philippine officials and business leaders for the three-day visit.

Update hourly