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PAL to mount additional domestic routes from Clark

BusinessWorld Online

PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) is set to add domestic routes from its hub at the Clark International Airport this year, starting with the launch of Clark-Siargao flights on Saturday.

In a statement, the flag carrier said it will start flying from Clark to Siargao, Mindoro, Palawan and Isabela.

“Four new domestic points — Siargao, San Vicente (Palawan), Cauayan (Isabela) and San Jose (Mindoro) — will be added to PAL’s hub at Clark International Airport in Pampanga, cementing the airport’s status as Central Luzon’s aviation center,” it said.

The Clark-Siargao route opened on July 1 and will fly every day using the Bombardier Next-Generation Q400 turboprop aircraft. Siargao has become a popular tourist destination for local and foreign tourists, especially after the closure of Boracay island.

The routes from Clark to San Vicente in Palawan, Cauayan in Isabela and San Jose in Mindoro will open on Oct. 28. It will have twice daily flights to San Vicente, six times weekly to Cauayan and eight times weekly to San Jose.

The aircraft to be used for the three destinations is the Q400, which offers 80 Economy Class seats and six Economy Plus seats.

PAL said it currently has seven Q400NGs after having received two Q400NGs in the past two months. It added, the company is expecting five more Q400NGs to be delivered until next year.

“PAL’s build-up of operations at Clark, as well as in Cebu and Davao, aims to significantly enhance travel convenience and connectivity for domestic travelers, while helping decongest Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport,” the carrier said in the statement.

With the new routes in PAL’s Clark hub, the airline has now increased its total destinations from the Clark International Airport to 19, including flights to Seoul, Busuanga, Caticlan, Puerto Princesa and Virac.

The operator of PAL, PAL Holdings, Inc., posted a higher net loss in the first quarter at P1.1 billion due to an increase in fuel spending. But PAL President Jaime J. Bautista said last month the company is expecting a “modest” profit by the end of the year as it applies for a higher fuel surcharge from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

PAL’s application for fuel surcharge is scheduled for hearing by the CAB on July 10. — Denise A. Valdez

 

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