China Eastern Airlines to start Clark-Shanghai direct flights soon


Manila Bulletin

China Eastern Airlines is set to mount its initial flight via Clark-Shanghai in the next few months targeting mostly business travelers following the airport’s increase in the number of flight routes and passengers from three years ago, according to an executive of the state-run Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC).

CIAC President and CEO Alexander Cauguiran said China Eastern toured the Clark International Airport (CRK) facilities Wednesday which set off the airline’s initial step in finalizing plans to augment its flight network and to use Clark airport as one of its hub.

“China Eastern is encouraged by the marketability of Clark airport and the increasing number of its local destinations,” Janette Cordero, the airlines’ ground handler representative in the Philippines, said, adding that this will be the first time that China Eastern will fly via Clark.

Cauguiran, who was on hand during the briefing of China Eastern officials led by Channe Chen, the airline’s General Manager in Manila, said the entry of another major airline will further increase passenger traffic.

“This will definitely boost CRK’s operations as we are also looking at thousands of business travelers who may now choose Clark to fly China Eastern,” he added.

The airline also plans to establish an exclusive airport lounge at CRK being a legacy carrier with interstate routes and which offers first-class and business-class seating, and a frequent-flyer program.

According to its website, China Eastern’s initial route will connect Clark to its main base in Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport where all international and several domestic flights to and from Shanghai are hosted.

Cauguiran said the Clark-Shanghai route will also connect to numerous cities in Europe, Asia and North America.

Meanwhile, Air Asia will launch thrice weekly Clark-Kalibo flights starting March 27 and four times weekly flights to and from Davao by April 22, augmenting the operations of Philippine Airlines whose domestic flights include CRK to Caticlan, Cebu, Davao, as well as international flights via Incheon in South Korea.

On March 26, the flag carrier will start servicing a Palawan route via Puerto Princesa and Busuanga.

The CRK hosts other airlines, such as Emirates Airlines via Dubai, Qatar Airways via Doha, Asiana Airlines via Incheon, Jin Air via Incheon and Busan, Cebu Pacific Air via Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and domestic flights to Cebu, along with Cathay Dragon via Hong Kong and Tiger Air via Singapore.

International cargo service giants FedEx and UPS likewise mount a weekly average of 23 international and domestic cargo flights at CRK.