Air Asia Philippines is set to resume its flights at the Clark International Airport, a move to seen as a welcome development by authorities of the state-run Clark International Airport Corp., the operating arm of the international gateway north of Manila.
Air Asia will launch thrice weekly Clark-Kalibo flights starting March 27 and four times weekly flights to and from Davao by April 22, two routes that are expected to further boost CRKs passenger traffic.
“CIAC’s efforts to attract more airlines have been rewarded and we are glad that Air Asia has finally agreed to resume flights this year,” Alexander Cauguiran, CIAC’s President and CEO, said during the second leg of the CRK Roadshow in Dagupan City on Friday.
Cauguiran added that Air Asia’s business decision is a positive effect of President Rodrigo Duterte’s thrusts to further develop and encourage additional flights at the airport of the north
“(Department of Transportation) Secretary Art Tugade’s marching order is for us to entice airlines to ensure first-rate operations of Clark airport,” Cauguiran added.
Air Asia, awarded the World’s Best Low Cost Carrier for eight consecutive years, has earlier committed to connect domestic cities to the North and Central Luzon regions and to choice tourist destinations in the country.
The resumption of Air Asia’s flights at CRK is seen to strengthen domestic hub. It also marks the airline’s return after it suspended operations in 2013 and transferred operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
“The target market (of passengers) from central and Northern Luzon is ripe and we expect that passenger volume will grow in years to come as we continue to promote CRK as the next choice gateway of the country,” Cauguiran said.
Philippine Airlines had already made its strong presence at CRK with domestic flights to Caticlan, Cebu, Davao, and international flights via Incheon in South Korea. The flag-carrier is also set to launch its Palawan route via Puerto Princesa and Busuanga domestic flights by March 26.
Clark International Airport hosts other airlines such as Emirates Airlines via Dubai, Qatar Airways via Doha, Asiana Airlines via Incheon, Jin Air via Incheon and Busan, Cebu Pacific Air via Hong kong, and Tiger Air via Singapore.