Clark International Airport: The airport of choice for tourists, OFWs

CLARK continues to serve more tourists and travelers, making it a destination of choice especially for visitors departing from Incheon, as well as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) based in the Korean peninsula.

This, even as more flights from other airlines are being mounted from Clark International Airport while it is being expanded to increase its capacity.

Data from Clark International Airport Corporation show that Philippines Air Asia (PAA), with barely six months of Clark-Incheon-Clark flights, has 73 percent average load factor in its total 112 flights.

Starting January 19 this year with its Incheon flights, PAA has since mounted four-times-a-week flights to and from Incheon International Airport, one of the top rated gateways in the world.

Of the total 14,817 passengers it has served from January to May this year, 102 are OFWs.

PAA is relatively a new player in serving the said route, with Korean flag carrier Asiana Airlines as the pioneer with its daily flights since 2005. Two other Korean carriers -- Jin Air and Jeju Air -- also fly to Incheon airport with daily and five times a week flights, respectively.

Philippine Air Lines, through its Airbus A321, also has its daily flight to Incheon from Clark since January 2017.

Clark and the local communities have become a favorite destination of Korean tourists. In a report by Department of Tourism, South Korean tourists remain to be the country's top tourism market with a total of 1,587,959 arrivals in 2018.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that in 2018, Central Luzon, which is one of the catchment areas of Clark International Airport, produces 14.3 percent of the total number of OFWs in the country. The total catchment population of Clark airport is 21,417,721 that reside in Central and Northern Luzon provinces.

With its 10 international flights and 24 domestic destinations, Clark is also gearing up for the completion of the Clark Airport Terminal 2 in June 2020, which will accommodate an additional eight million passengers yearly.

Due to the expected influx of tourists in the coming years, the Clark Development Corporation also encouraged more tourism-related projects that will add up to the existing 2,900 hotel rooms in Clark.

The state-owned firm targets a total of 5,000 hotel rooms to make this Freeport a certified Mice destination. (PR)


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