Clark airport prepares for long-haul flights-A A +A
Friday, September 13, 2013
CLARK FREEPORT -- The Clark International Airport is preparing for the long-haul flights of Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways next month.
This came despite the temporary suspension of Air Asia Philippines’ local and international flights, according to Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) president Victor Jose Luciano.
"The expansion of the passenger terminal is to accommodate the coming of the long-haul flights from the Middle East, the wide-body planes of Emirates and Qatar, and Clark is being readied for the coming of more of these long-haul flights," Luciano said.
Emirates Airlines will start its non-stop daily flights (Dubai-Clark-Dubai) on October 1. Qatar Airways will also launch daily flight (Doha-Clark-Doha) on October 28.
Emirates will utilize a Boeing 777 aircraft with a capacity of 438 passengers while Qatar will use a Boeing 330-300 aircraft with a capacity of 308 passengers.
Air Asia Philippines on Thursday announced the temporary suspension of local flights to Davao and Kalibo starting on October 8, and international flights to Hong Kong and Taipei on November 6.
Hong Kong flights will resume on December in time for the Christmas Season.
He stressed that the suspension of local and international flights by Air Asia Philippines is only temporary saying that "they will resume operations this coming December."
"Clark acknowledges the challenges confronting Air Asia Philippines, made more daunting with the acquisition of Zest Air while the latter is in the midst of hurdling regulatory issues," he said.
"Clark will continue to give fullest support to its airlines, and will give all the encouragement to Air Asia to increase flights out of Clark. Clark believes in the capability of the management of Air Asia, not only to overcome its present difficulties but even grow the airline soon," Luciano added.
CIAC is also preparing for the expansion of the P360 million passenger terminal, which is currently being constructed.
The facility is expected to accommodate 5 million passengers annually once completed.
The Airline Operators Council (AOC) recently declared full support in the government plan of a "Dual Airport" -- the development Clark International Airport and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The AOC cited the potential of Clark Airport as the next premier gateway of the Philippines.
AOC Chairman Florante Isidro said that Clark Airport will play a major role in the development of the aviation industry in the country.
AOC represents various local and foreign airlines.
Clark Airport is hosts to various airlines including Cebu Pacific Air, Tiger Air Philippines, Asiana Airlines of South Korea, Dragonair of Cathay Pacific, Jin Air of Korea and Air Asia Berhad of Malaysia.
The airlines are operating international and local flights at Clark Airport.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 14, 2013.