Philippine Airlines has announced three new domestic routes connecting Clark Airport with San Vicente (Palawan), San Jose (Mindoro) and Cauayan (Isabela).
The new services, due to start on October 28 were announced by PAL Express president Bonifacio Sam at a press conference today (Thursday, October 18).
The three routes will be served by PAL’s new 86-seater Bombardier Next-Generation Q400 turboprop aircraft fitted with six economy plus seats and 80 economy seats.
The PAL flights to San Vicente will start with five weekly flights (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday), and will increase to daily flights by December 18. Flights will depart from Clark Airport at 7am, arriving in San Vicente one hour and 40 minutes later.
The newly-opened airport at San Vicente is a convenient gateway to El Nido and other popular tourist destinations.
Meanwhile, San Jose in Occidental Mindoro will have four weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, leaving Clark at 11am. The return flight departs San Jose at 12.05pm.
Visitor attractions close to San Jose include Aroma beach, Ambulong and White islands, ancient burial caves and shell divers at Ilin Island and Mount Iglit National Park.
On the other hand, the thrice-weekly flights (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) to Cauayan are intended to spur economic growth in the country’s second biggest province. The flight will leave Clark 11am, arriving in Cauayan 45 minutes later.
PAL used to fly from Manila to San Jose and Cauayan several decades ago as two of the so-called “missionary routes” operated out of the capital.
The decision to make Clark the origin for new routes to Mindoro and Isabela is a reflection of the flag carrier’s confidence in the emerging popularity of Central Luzon as an economic centre and strategically important aviation gateway in its own right.
“PAL made a big decision to invest in Clark. The Clark International Airport is not just a stop-over or refuelling station. Clark is our fastest growing hub airport, centre of a network of flights that connects the country,” Sam said.
With a network of 18 domestic destinations and one international route (to Seoul Incheon), PAL has strengthened its position as the biggest airline operator out of Clark.
No longer just an alternate aerodrome to help decongest Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Clark is now recognised as PAL’s fastest growing hub airport.
It has now overtaken Cebu – another PAL hub of operations – in the number of domestic flights, with 15 from Cebu and 18 from Clark.
As we reported yesterday, PAL is also looking further afield with the launch of a new direct service between Manila and New York.
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