Passenger traffic at Clark Airport rising
Clark International Airport in Pampanga saw passenger traffic increase 8 percent from January to April this year, as it lured more Luzon-based passengers outside Metro Manila. Traffic is expected to increase further, bolstered by Emirates, which restarted flights on March 30.
Clark Airport saw 316,656 passengers use the air gateway during the four-month period, from 292,659 in the same period in 2015, Emigdio P. Tanjuatco III, president of Clark International Airport Corp., Wednesday said in a statement.
“That 8 percent increase in passenger traffic may be attributed to the fact that more and more people are beginning to realize the convenience and comfort of using Clark airport, especially those coming from Central and Northern Luzon regions that we consider as Clark’s passenger catch basin,” Tanjuatco said.
“Passengers who come from these regions benefit from the fact that they need not travel all the way to Metro Manila, thus saving time and money as they travel abroad especially our OFWs (Overseas Filipino workers) who are on their way to the Middle East,” he added.
Two major international carriers fly daily to the Middle East direct from Clark. These are Emirates and Qatar Airways that both fly seven days a week straight to Dubai and Doha, Qatar, respectively.
At least 75 percent of the OFWs deployed in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar hail from Central and Northern Luzon. There are about a million OFWs in UAE and another 2.5 million in the rest of the Gulf countries.
“Efforts to entice the entry of more international airlines at (Clark Airport) were coupled by programs to similarly attract the start of domestic airlines that will launch so-called ‘feeder flights’ that will help sustain the long-haul carriers,” Tanjuatco said.
Only Cebu Pacific Air currently flies domestically from Clark to Mactan-Cebu International Airport four times a week.
With Cebu Pacific also flying to Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore, Clark airport is host to other airlines like Asiana Airlines (Incheon, South Korea), Jin Air (Incheon and Busan, South Korea), Cathay Pacific/Dragonair (Hong Kong) and Tiger Air (Singapore).
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