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P360-M Clark terminal up by Sept

MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration expects to complete the expansion of the existing passenger terminal at the Clark International Airport in September ahead of the launch of the inaugural Clark – Dubai flight by Emirates scheduled in October.

Victor Jose Luciano, president and chief executive officer of the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC), said in a statement the P360 million project would double the capacity of the existing terminal to four to five million passengers from the current capacity of two to 2.5 million passengers.

“The existing terminal can only accommodate two million passengers annually, while the new passenger terminal expansion will further boost its capacity to four to five million passengers annually. The expansion project is expected to be completed by September,” he said.

This year, the CIAC expects the number of international and domestic passengers using the Clark International Airport hitting two million, prompting the agency to pursue its long-delayed expansion project.

Luciano said the number of international and domestic passengers using the gateway in Pampanga jumped 62 percent to 408,895 in the first quarter of the year from 252,163 in the same period last year.

Data showed that the volume of passengers surged 71.6 percent to 153,920 in January, by 57.3 percent to 123,349 in February, and by 56.6 percent to 131,626 in March.

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He attributed the higher volume of passengers to the steady increase in the number of international flights that is expected to increase further with the decision of Emirates to transform the international gateway as a hub.

“We expect this to further increase as we are anticipating the start of the Emirates non-stop daily flights between Dubai and Clark and vice versa on October 1,” Luciano said.

Luciano said that Emirates alone would connect Clark to the rest of Middle East and Europe using the Boeing 777-300ERs aircraft with a passenger capacity of 437.

Clark airport also plays host to various budget and legacy air carriers including Air Asia Berhad of Malaysia, Air Asia Philippines, Philippine Airlines’ PAL Express, Seair-Tiger, Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific), Jin Air, Asiana Airlines, and Dragonair.

 Last year, the volume of passengers using the gateway surged 71 percent to 1.3 million from 767,000 in 2011 as budget airlines marketed the gateway in Pampanga serving as an alternative to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) through cheaper fares.

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