DOTC exec: Qatar Airways entry means development-A A +A
Monday, October 28, 2013
CLARK FREEPORT --- Transportation and Communications Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla has described the entry of Qatar Airways in Clark as a signal for the further development of North Philippines particularly for Central Luzon.
"It is a milestone for Clark and for the country that another airline has chosen to fly into Clark. It is a signal for the further development of the Philippines especially for this part of the country, Central Luzon," Lotilla said during the airline’s formal launching of its daily Doha-Clark-Doha flights.
The DOTC officials said President Aquino and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya are happy with this development.
"The DOTC stands solidly behind in supporting the efforts of Clark," Lotilla said.
Lotilla, Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) president and CEO Victor Jose Luciano, Civil Aeronautics Board Director Carmelo Arcilla, and Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Excellency Cresente Relacion led the inaugural flights of Qatar Airways in Clark.
Qatar Airways's Airbus A-330-300 aircraft, with 112 passengers mostly Overseas Filipino Workers, arrived at Clark Airport around 9:40 a.m., 20 minutes behind the 9:20 a.m. schedule.
The passengers received a warm welcome during simple Philippine traditional festivities at the new passenger terminal.
"It is a momentous day of joy and celebration for Clark International Airport, the Clark Freeport, and the communities of Clark, and the peoples of Central and Northern Luzon," Luciano said.
"Indeed Clark is blessed, as the World's Five Star Airline, Qatar Airways has selected Clark its second destination in the Philippines," Luciano added.
He said that Clark Airport and the 23 million OFWs in the North Philippines, is now linked to more than 133 international destinations of Qatar Airways.
He also said that tourists in the Middle East can now visit the Philippines by Qatar Airways’ flight at Clark Airport.
Qatar Airways Senior Vice President for Commercial Operations Woo Yew Seong said they chose Clark because of its strategic location and potential of becoming the country’s next gateway.
Woo said that Qatar Airways has more than 100 modern aircrafts worldwide. According to him, the airlines is looking forward of increasing its operations at Clark Airport.
He said that Clark Airport is vital to their operations in the Philippines since it is their second destination.
"We are very happy to be in Clark and rest assured that we will give our genuine service to the Philippines," he said.
Qatar Airways is Skytrax's world best airlines in 2011 and 2012 and among the top in the world for years.
The airlines operates in Africa, Central Asia, Europe, Far East, South Asia, Middle East, North America, South America and Oceania.
On October 1, Emirates Airlines launched its daily flights (Dubai-Clark-Dubai) using a Boeing 777-ER300 aircraft with has capacity of 428 passengers.
Emirates officials had assured to bring in one million passengers into the country for their Clark operations.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on October 29, 2013.