Thursday, July 31, 2008 [ sunstar.com.ph ]
By Reynaldo G. Navales
CLARK FREEPORT -- Air Traffic at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here is expected to grow after the success of the recently concluded RP-Thailand Air Talks where Clark got 8,600 seats.
Clark International Airport Corporation (Ciac) president Victor Jose Luciano, who is a member of the RP Air Panel that attended the RP-Thailand Air Talks in Bangkok last July 24 and 25, said DMIA in Clark Freeport got the biggest air deal with 8,600 seats.
Thailand will get reciprocal seat entitlements of 8,600 for the Clark route, bringing the total number of seat entitlements to 17,200 seats weekly or 14 flights daily.
"This is a great step for DMIA in bringing more tourists in the Northern and Central Luzon as the airport is on its way of becoming the country's premier gateway," Luciano said.
He also said that part of the air deal, cargo capacity at DMIA will be boosted from zero to 700 tons weekly, adding that there was no limitation on airline designation.
This means even non-flag carriers can fly there from multiple designations.
The air agreement also allowed other carriers not limited to Clark. Manila airports got 5,400 seats from 2,930 with cargo allocation of 300 tons from more than 200 previously.
Other airports outside Clark and Metro Manila were given allocations of 2,110 seats from their previous 850 seats.
Air Traffic at DMIA is also expected to boost further after Cebu Pacific Airways had revealed plans to operate at the 2,500 hectare Civil Aviation Complex via Clark-Bangkok and Clark-Hong Kong routes.
Cebu Pacific is also planning to operate other destinations in Clark, which includes Macau, Singapore, and Taiwan making the former US facility as their hub in the Northern Luzon area.
Korea's Asiana Airlines last July 22 started their Clark-US routes every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 1:10 p.m. and will arrive in Incheon in South Korea at 5:05 pm.
These will connect with Asiana's international flights to Los Angeles and New York every Tuesdays and Thursdays and to Chicago every Saturdays.
Asiana's flights have increased to 10 flights per week from their previous seven flights per week. Asiana's flights at DMIA use an AirBus 320 with a capacity of 142.
Other airlines operating at the airport include Tiger Airways of Singapore via Clark-Singapore-Macau routes, Air Asia of Malaysia via Clark-Kuala Lumpur and Clark-Kota Kinabalu.