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New flights from Clark will increase tourism and clear up NAIA

The resumption of several local carriers’ direct flights from Clark International Airport to the nation’s most popular island tourism destinations was warmly welcomed by the Department of Tourism (DOT) on Tuesday.

Christina Frasco, the country’s tourism secretary, asserted that the recently reopened lines would increase both domestic and foreign tourism, saying that the routes add to the country’s popular tourist attractions connectivity.

“We welcome these additional flights as it serves the Marcos administration’s efforts to vastly improve tourism connectivity and spread economic opportunity across the nation,” she said in a news release on Tuesday. “After months of our continuous discussions with relevant aviation agencies and stakeholders, such as the Department of Transportation, Cebu Pacific, and Philippine Airlines, we are pleased to see these additional flights.”

Prior to this, Cebu Pacific confirmed expanding the Clark hub’s 13 domestic and international routes. Moreover, Clark will be home to three of its aircraft.

Beginning in April of this year, the newly formed flights will provide service to Caticlan, Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, General Santos, and Cagayan de Oro. The Puerto Princesa route will follow in June.

Clark is connected internationally via Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Singapore.

Moreover, Philippine Airlines said that scheduled flights from Clark to Caticlan would start on April 1 and from Clark to Busuanga on April 2.

According to Frasco, the business is expected to earn over PHP214 billion in predicted sales in 2022 and produce 5.2 million jobs in the tourist sector.

In order to meet market demand for flights to important tourist locations during the lengthy Holy Week holidays, she pointed out that the reopening dates are timely.

The DOT reviewed measures to expand flights into Clark, establish it as a viable alternative airport, and aid in the decongestion of the nation’s major gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, last January 25 with the Civil Aeronautics Board, airline executives, and other concerned agencies (NAIA).

Despite having a capacity for eight million passengers annually, the airport only receives about 80,000 people per month at its current 12 percent usage rate.

According to Frasco, “With the extra flights, we accomplish a number of objectives, including the decongestion of NAIA and the reduction of crowding in other airports, as well as the ongoing development of the region and the attraction of more tourism activities and enterprises in the vicinity.”

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