CLARK FREEPORT -- Former Pampanga first district representative Francis "Blueboy" Nepomuceno said the entry of Emirates Airlines will be the start of something big for the development of the Clark International Airport.
Nepomuceno, who is running for congressman in the first district of Pampanga under the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), said the airline's flights to Dubai will serve overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who hail from Central and Northern Luzon.
OFWs in the area will opt to fly via Clark instead of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), according to Nepomuceno.
"Napakalapit po ng Clark airport at lubos na makatitipid pa ang mga OFWs," Nepomuceno said.
Another airline, Qatar Airways, has also signified its interest to launch flights in Clark airport.
Nepomuceno earlier said the Clark Freeport and the airport will bring more developments to the entire country.
"Clark is the economic engine of Central Luzon. With more local and international flights, we are expecting to see the development of tourism and economy in Pampanga's First CongreSSional District," Nepomuceno said.
The Clark Airport has been recognized as one of the Top Three Best Airport Zones in the world by the London-based FDi Magazine of the Financial Times Group.
The airport placed third in the FDi Magazine survey where Morroco's Tangiers Free Zone came in second and Dubai Airport Free Zone at number one.
The Financial Times also ranked the Clark Freeport Zone as eighth top Global Free Zone of the Future from 2012 to 2013 which made evident that Clark will play a crucial role in economic development, according to Nepomuceno.
The aviation complex, which occupies some 2,400 hectares of land, is home to budget carriers such as Cebu Pacific, AirAsia Berhad, AirAsia Philippines, Seair, Airphil Express and Jin Air.
A full service carrier, Asiana, also flies to Incheon, South Korea.
Nepomuceno said the entry of more airlines will allow more people to travel and this will be beneficial to the economy.
"Marami po sa ating mga kapwa ang magkakaroon ng oportunidad para makapagtrabaho sa Clark airport," Nepomuceno said.
The Clark airport posted over 1.3 million passengers for 2012. It is expected to double the figure once the Middle Eastern flights start their operations.