More flights out of Clark
CLARK FREEPORT—Gov. Lilia Pineda has called for a tourism summit among airlines, travel agencies, transport groups, restaurants, hotels and resorts, and local governments to draft a plan on how Pampanga province would benefit from the rise in the number of flights served by the Clark International Airport.
“We need to get our acts together so that the development spurred by the Clark airport would boost the local economy and increase job opportunities for our people,” Pineda said
at the launch of daily flights of Cebu Pacific to and from Caticlan airport in Aklan province, which serves as a gateway to Boracay Island.
Cebu Pacific also launched its thrice-a-week flights to and from Busuanga town in Palawan province.
Pineda said the summit, to be held later this month or early June, should discuss concerns about the sufficiency of hotels, peace and order in the area, as well as the need for an efficient transport system.
Alexander Cauguiran, president and chief executive officer of the state-owned Clark International Airport Corp. (Ciac), said Pampanga should take up the tourism challenge early because Clark airport would operate a new passenger terminal and railway before the term of President Duterte ends in 2022.
Ronaldo Tiotuico, director of the Department of Tourism in Central Luzon, said it was the best time to come up with a unified tourism plan in Pampanga and the region as more tourists visit the country. Around 5.9 million tourists traveled to the Philippines in 2016.
Passenger volume in Clark grew to 950,732 by end of 2016 from 316,656 in April of the same year since Mr. Duterte encouraged airlines to use Clark and ease congestion in Metro Manila and Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Clark airport used to be a military facility of the United States 13th Air Force until 1991 when the Senate rejected the extension of the 1947 military bases agreement.
Ciac is looking to serve 1.5 million passengers by end of 2017.
Paterno Mantarig Jr., Cebu Pacific vice president for corporate affairs, said its subsidiary, Cebgo, will make direct flights between Cebu and Busuanga every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting May 16. Cebgo’s four-times-a-week flights to the Cotabato provinces began on May 16.
Cebu Pacific also flies to Macau, Singapore and Hong Kong through Clark.
Cauguiran said WakayAir started serving the Clark-Bagabag (Nueva Vizcaya) route on May 17.
Philippine Airlines is adding three flights weekly to Bacolod City, four flights weekly to Cagayan de Oro City and daily flights to Tagbilaran City on June 22. Seair will be serving routes to China and Palau by June 1. —TONETTE OREJAS
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.