THE Philippines' newest carrier Spirit of Manila Airlines is now operating three-times weekly to Taipei after the expanded international terminal in Clark was finally inaugurated last month.

In a statement, the 1st RP airline to fly to Taipei out of Clark said its timely expansion of more direct flights would have positive impact among the China-Taiwan market, as well as to better service passengers from Central and Northern Luzon. They need not go to NAIA airport for direct flights to Taipei and vice versa.

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"We are optimistic that with upgraded airport facilities in Clark will equate to better load capacity or passengers," said Spirit of Manila Airlines Corp. vice president for external affairs Johnny Ramos.

The airline has been intensively operating gateway-to-gateway scheduled passenger services to develop the Philippines (via Clark) and Taiwan since early January this year.

At the same time, charter flights from Taipei to Kalibo are also being developed for the mutual benefits of RP-Taiwan tourism industry.

"It is tough to develop new routes but we are now in a better position to maximize our scheduled three times weekly flights on Clark-Taipei and supplemented with charter flights using 145-seater Boeing family aircraft," Ramos said.

In the case of charters, Ramos emphasized that since they do not have rights to fly domestic, charters from Taiwan to Kalibo is the most competitive recourse to develop and service the tourism market with superior product that leaves Kalibo at 2:30pm and goes direct to Taipei.

Another local airline also diverts some of its Manila-Taipei flights via Kalibo. From Kalibo it returns via Manila which leaves early morning.

"This other carrier should realize that they can no longer monopolize the industry. It is a freedom of choice of the flying public, as we urge our aviation officials to promote a level playing field that encourages competition in the Philippine air industry," Ramos said.

The general sales agent of Spirit of Manila Airlines in Taiwan is Uni-Orient Travel (Taiwan) Limited.

The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) support the designation of Spirit of Manila Airlines to service the Clark-Taipei and v.v. route and utilize the 450 seats available passenger capacity entitlements per week under Category 2 of the air services between the two countries.

In addition to the number of designated airlines as well as the capacity entitlements, the civil aviation authorities of both countries may designate multiple airlines to operate charter flights between points in Taiwan and points in the Philippines except Manila with seat capacity up to 3,100 seats per week.

On scheduled flights of Spirit of Manila Airlines, passengers can avail of the affordable seat fares and high quality service when they travel to Taipei. It offers snacks and free shuttle service to ferry passengers from Manila to Clark and vice versa.

For bookings log on to spiritofmanilaairlines.com or call hotline (632) 784-4888 for details. (Press Release)