IN a bid to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Philippine Airlines (PAL) will launch its inaugural flight at the sprawling Clark International Airport on Friday.
PAL will launch its Clark-Boracay-Clark flight on Friday, December 16, a move that is seen to further develop the viability of Clark airport as the next international airport of the country.
PAL will also launch flights to Cebu, Davao and Incheon, South Korea, its first international flight from Clark airport.
PAL president Jaime Bautista said the launching of flights to Clark airport supports the government’s plan to decongestion the NAIA, which posted more than 37 million passengers in 2015.
“This is also a venue for Philippine Airlines to grow. If we will just depend on the available capacity of Naia, we cannot grow much anymore.”
The heavy air traffic in Manila was also increasing operational expenses of airline operators as their aircrafts burn more aviation fuel while encircling Metro Manila awaiting clearance to land at the NAIA.
At least 27 percent of the passengers that flew out of the NAIA came from Northern and Central Luzon, based on the study conducted by the Clark International Airport Corporation, the operating arm of Clark airport.
President Rodrigo Duterte has earlier urged local airlines to transfer some of their flights to the Clark airport in a bid to ease air traffic at the NAIA.
The Clark airport has two 3.2-km parallel runways that can accommodate the biggest aircraft in the world. The probing flight of the Airbus 380 arrived in Clark airport from Toulouse, France several years ago while the Russian-made strategic airlift Antonov 124 had also landed in Clark several times.