CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga — Cebu Pacific, led by its president Lance Gokongwei, launched on Friday its three newest destinations from Clark International Airport (CRK) – Bacolod, Iloilo, and Narita, Japan.
In his speech during the launching event held at the Marriot Hotel here, Gokongwei said Cebu Pacific is the first Philippine carrier to mount direct flights between Clark and Tokyo, via Narita.
He noted that with the expansion of its route network in the Clark hub, Cebu Pacific will become the largest carrier in Clark in terms of capacity by end-2019, capturing 28 percent of the total number of seats offered by all carriers operating here.
Flights from Clark to Bacolod and Iloilo run daily, while direct service to and from Narita is scheduled four times weekly –Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, for his part, said the three inaugural flights “is a game changer in so far as Clark is concerned”.
“Cebu Pacific, like other airlines, give the riding public the freedom of choice ,” Tugade said, adding that the Duterte administration is committed to provide mobility and connectivity.
“This exercise precisely adheres and gives meaning to that commitment of having mobility and connectivity because now in Clark, you connect Clark to Iloilo, Bacolod and Narita, Japan. Happening all for the first time and happening all with the complement of Cebu Pacific,” he added.
Cebu Pacific earlier announced that it would begin flying daily between Clark and Puerto Princesa City in Palawan by the fourth quarter of 2019.
Gokongwei said four new routes will boost Cebu Pacific’s total capacity in Clark by 40 percent in 2019 alone, following a 75-percent increase in 2018 with the launch of direct commercial air service to and from Davao and Panglao, Bohol, as well as additional frequency for the Clark-Macau route.
“We have been operating flights in and out of Clark since 2006. The opening of these new routes is a testament of how committed we are to continuously develop this hub. We are not only establishing seamless inter-island connections, but also opening up North Luzon to more potential entrepreneurs, both local and foreign, furthering tourism, trade, and investment opportunities in Clark and its surrounding areas,” he said.
Cebu Pacific flies to four other domestic destinations –Cebu, Caticlan, Tagbilaran, Davao; and three other international destinations, Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong, to and from Clark.
“As we aim to fly 200 million passengers by 2020 and 300 million by 2022, trust that we have been and will always keep our customers at the heart of the business. Rest assured, we will continue to cater to the growing travel demand by enabling more Juans to travel conveniently and affordably through our year-round low fares,” Gokongwei added.
The airline expects to receive over 60 aircrafts in the next eight years, guaranteeing even greater growth in and out of the Philippines.
Aside from Clark, Cebu Pacific operates flights out of six other strategically placed hubs in the Philippines, namely Manila, Kalibo, Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao.
Cebu Pacific operates over 2,000 weekly flights across 37 domestic and 26 international destinations. (PNA)
By Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario