[ Manila Bulletin Online ] February 19, 2009
By Fred M. Roxas
Officials of the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) scored another victory in what could be the advent of Middle East flights at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), the country’s Premier International Gateway.
CIAC President and CEO Victor Jose I. Luciano yesterday lauded Executive Vice President and COO Alexander Cauguiran of his efforts in securing Middle East flights to ensure DMIA’s future of becoming the Premier International Gateway of the country envisioned by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He also commended the members of the RP Panel headed by Transportation and Communication Undersecretary Doroteo Reyes ll for their support in the development of the airport.
"This is another major development for the airport (DMIA) were we able to secure 14 frequencies weekly with 5th Freedom Rights in the Middle East via Clark and Subic," Luciano said.
Luciano had earlier said "that the age of middle east flights is coming to DMIA" after securing 42 frequencies weekly with full fifth freedom rights by a designated carrier except US, Canada and Japan during the RP-UAE Air Consultation Talks held in Abu Dhabi last January.
He said "this new flights for Clark will benefit the more than 2 million Filipinos in the middle east were 40 percent of them come from the Northern Philippines."
Luciano and Cauguiran representing CIAC were among the members of the RP Panel that negotiated for the new frequencies at Clark in the recently concluded RP-Kuwait Air Consultation Talks held at the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) in Manila last February 16 and 17.
Cauguiran witnessed the signing of the agreement between the RP Panel and Kuwait Panel headed by Fawaz Al-Farah were Clark and Subic secured 14 frequencies per week with 5th Freedom Rights. The agreement also included 14 frequencies weekly for cargo with 5th freedom rights by a multiple designation of carriers with no restriction of types of aircraft.
The Philippines got an over all 29 flights weekly to Kuwait from its previous 6 flights weekly. The 29 flights weekly were divided to Manila with eight flights; Clark and Subic both 14 flights; Cebu; Davao and other airports in the country got seven flights.
DMIA is home to various foreign and local carriers operating at the 2,367 hectare Civil Aviation Complex. Among them is Korea’s Asiana Airlines, Tiger Airways of Singapore, Air Asia of Malaysia, and Cebu Pacific. The local air carrier also flies daily to Cebu. South East Asian Airlines (Seair) flies the Clark-Caticlan route. (Fred Roxas).