PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) inaugurated its new thrice weekly Clark-Davao-Clark flights Wednesday, February 1, 2016.

Utilizing an Airbus 321, the flight is scheduled on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

Siegfred Mison, PAL’s senior vice president for legal and corporate communications and general counsel, said during the inauguration that the new route will bring vacationing Davaoeños and others in the nearby provinces of Luzon without having to experience the hassle of Manila traffic.

“Davao travelers can now reach Baguio, Vigan, Pagudpod. This is PAL’s little way to help decongest the airport in Manila by developing Clark as a secondary hub of operations. Within the first quarter of 2017, PAL will operate four new flights from Clark, to Cebu, which we launched last Monday, to Puerto Prinsesa, Caticlan, and now here in Davao,” said Mison.

He said these new routes will allow passengers from the countryside to experience PAL’s quality service.

"The new route plays an increasingly important role in making Davao City and Pampanga gateways to the country’s emerging tourist destination. With these direct flights now available three times a week, in addition to direct flights between other airports earlier launched by PAL, more international and domestic visitors will experience added convenience and faster travel to their desired destinations,” said Tourism secretary Wanda Corazon Teo.

Teo also said these flights support President Rodrigo Roa-Duterte administration’s program to improve accessibility to the country’s attractions.

“Davao as an airport can be our hub, if in case PAL expands operations for Mindanao. That’s why this is a test case if we can really fly out of Davao and make the city a hub. For now, we have hubs at Manila, Cebu, and Clark. Exciting times are really coming for us if in case we can generate interest for people not only domestic but also from outside the country,” said Mison.

With this new Davao-Clark and vice versa route launched by PAL Wednesday, the City Tourism Operations Office head Generose Tecson looks forward to more partnerships and exchange of culture with our brothers and sisters from Luzon.

“Davao tourism will benefit much from PAL’s Davao-Clark (route) as it opens a new gateway and opportunities like the Central and Northern Luzon markets and connectivity and convenience for those using the Clark airport as their gateway to the country and onwards to Davao,” said Tecson.

For his part, Department of Tourism-Davao regional director Roberto Alabado III said the new route will allow Dabawenyos to explore more parts of the Philippines.

"This is also an additional flight for those living in Luzon and we can offer them the things that we have here like our diving sites, Mt. Apo, ecotourism sites, and as a destination for conventions," he said.

With plans now to make the Clark International Airport an international hub, tourists coming in the Philippines via Clark will now have a better access to Davao City and Mindanao.