Filipino-owned airline expands operations in Clark

CLARK FREEPORT -- A new company here is promising a flying experience for “Very Very Important Persons” (VVIPs).

Iloilo-Negros Air Express Company (INAEC) Aviation Corporation director and president Benjamin Lopez, and INAEC Clark general manager Capt. Gilbert Tabberrah aim to provide high-end flying experience to their clients.

INAEC Aviation Corporation is the country’s first Filipino-owned private airline.

“With safety as our passion and top priority, clients are also assured of a five-star luxury service, comfort and convenience,” said Tabberrah in a recent interview.

The newest player in air chartering in Clark which started operating in January 2017 charges from $1,600 to $2,400 per hour depending on the flight arrangement.

Tabberrah said they are looking at business executives, foreign tourists and high rollers as their potential clients.

Tabberrah along with Lopez said “Clark is a growth area” – the main reason for expanding operations in this Freeport.

“We believe that Clark is the way to go. And we believe that the government is very sincere in moving the traffic to Clark,” said Tabberrah.

“And we would like to soar with Clark,” he added.

For Clark, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters with a capacity of five to eight passengers are available, as well as King Air that can accommodate eight passengers and can fly all over the Philippines.

“Actually Clark Airport is the best, because of the two runways, the area and there’s no bird sanctuary,” said Taberrah, who is also a pilot with 9,792 total flight hours.

In August 12, INAEC Clark had its first flight to Mt. Pinatubo with passengers Prisca Castor, president, Pampanga Agents Travel Society; Chriselle May Yambao, supervising tourism officer, Central Luzon Department of Tourism, and Augusto Sanchez, corporate communications manager, Clark International Airport Corporation on board AS350 B2 five-seater helicopter.

Taberrah said the company hopes to expand to the north and fly from Clark to various destinations such as Mt. Pinatubo, Zambales area, Baler in Aurora, Subic in Olongapo, Corregidor, San Fernando La Union in Pangasinan, Baguio, Banaue Rice Terraces in Cordilleras, among others.

According to Tabberrah, his team will be doing a lot of marketing to create awareness that an air charter company for VVIPs is present in Clark.

Other INAEC hangars are located in the following areas: two hangars in Manila, Cebu, El Nido, Puerto Princesa, Davao and the newest hangar in Clark Civil Aviation Complex.

Aside from helicopter and jet chartering, INAEC Aviation Corporation provides services on aircraft management, fixed based operations, cargo transport, news and events coverages and oil and gas producers (OGP) support services.

INAEC Clark is an addition to existing air charter companies in Clark that include Asian Aerospace, Leading Edge, and Metro Jet that started operations in April 2014, June 2016 and January 2012, respectively.

Don Eugenio Lopez, Sr. established the company in 1932. Although its fleet was completely destroyed in World War II, INAEC quickly rebuilt after the war to become Far East Asia Transport, Inc. (FEATI), the first Filipino airline to serve international routes. FEATI was sold in 1947.

INAEC was revived in 1993 to serve the needs of the Lopez Group of Companies. (PR)
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