PAL opens Clark-Davao route
Davao City – Philippine Airlines (PAL) flew its maiden Clark-Davao flight yesterday, with a water salute welcoming the aircraft at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport here.
PR 831 departed Clark Wednesday at 10:55 a.m. and arrived in Davao City around 12:43 p.m.
According to the PAL website, there will be flights between Clark-Davao three times a week under the call signs PR 831 and PR 832.
PR 832 will depart Davao at 1:25 p.m., and arrive at Clark at 3:15 p.m.
The flights complement the flag carrier’s alternative airport hub as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) recommended decongesting the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from smaller commercial and cargo aircraft.
The airline has also rolled out flights to and from Boracay via Caticlan and Seoul, South Korea, as well as Cebu starting January 30.
Daily flights to and from Coron via Busuanga and thrice-weekly flights to and from Puerto Princesa will also take off March 26.
Last year, a DOTr official said that the Clark International Airport will be tapped in an effort to reduce the load at the NAIA terminals.
Transportation Undersecretary Robert Lim said the agency has tapped local carriers to offer more flights flying from Clark instead of using just NAIA.
Cebu Pacific, he said, would increase Clark-Cebu flights, while the Philippine Airlines will start Clark-Davao flights, among others.
Lim said that the flights would improve the connectivity networks in terms of air traffic, as well as extend tourist stays in the Philippines, especially those landing in Metro Manila and Clark, if tourists have knowledge of direct flights to Davao City.
“If we unlock connectivity, then we are really a catalyst to bring economic development,” Lim said.
Meanwhile, Lim said that DOTr will start prohibiting small aircraft from using the NAIA from 12 noon to 7 p.m. in an effort to improve services at its three terminals.
Lim told businessmen here that aircraft will have to choose between hubs such as those in Clark, Plaridel and Sangley Point as alternative areas.