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Clark, PAL to discuss plans of launching regular flights

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga, Philippines – Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) is set to hold formal talks with Philippine Airlines for the flag carrier to consider launching regular domestic and international flights at the airport here.

CIAC spokesperson Rendy Isip said no commitments have yet been made by PAL, although the talks are expected to tackle such a proposal given the congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

In 1994, President Ramos issued Executive Order 716 designating Clark as the “future site of the country’s international gateway.”

Pampanga 1st District Rep. Joseller Guiao said during the visit of Pope Francis and the Philippines’ hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila, flights were cancelled at the NAIA instead of being rerouted to Clark which has two world-class runways each 3.2 kilometers long.

CIAC president and chief executive officer Emigdio Tanjuatco cited a study showing some 5.2 million people from Central Luzon flew via NAIA in 2014 because Clark lacked the flights of their destinations. Only about 800,000 used the Clark airport.

“But what is more alarming for us is that many of them did not even know that Clark is an international airport where there are flights to foreign countries,” he said.

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To increase awareness of international and domestic flights at Clark, Tanjautco signed an agreement with the television network Central Luzon Television-36 (CLTV 36) to launch “iChoose Clark” program as part of the CIAC’s promotion and awareness campaign.

The signing was done during CLTV 36’s lauch of a more powerful transmitter at this Freeport.

For his part, CLTV 36’s Levy Laus said  “this signals an opportunity for Clark Airport to grow and become the next premier gateway of the country since we are advocating to decongest Metro Manila. It is high time to fully utilize Clark Airport that will usher in economic spillover for the rest of Central and Northern Luzon.”

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