Deliberations with various airlines for possible links from Clark International Airport (CRK) to North America are ongoing after the successful efforts of bringing in Philippine Airlines (PAL) and AirAsia to the former military base.
Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president and CEO Alexander Cauguiran holds talks with long-haul flights connecting Clark to North America as PAL and Cebu Pacific have already started expanding operations.
However, Cauguiran refused to name the air carriers as the management is still currently in a negotiation with them.
PAL launched debut flights linking Clark and Caticlan Airport last December and opened 2017 with the launch of an international route – Clark to Incheon (South Korea) and will be adding more flights for its Cebu, Davao, Busuanga and Cagayan de Oro routes.
Having suspended all of its local and regional flights from Clark in 2013, AirAsia said it would restart operations this March.
The CIAC chief said that the huge market potential of CRK are travelers coming from Regions 1 to 3 and the CAMANAVA area with a combined population of around 24.2 million.
“Clark ought to be the most logical and practical airport of choice of the people from the northern and central parts of Luzon,” he added. Likewise, he revealed an update to the CIAC’s Master Development Plan which includes the building of a new passenger terminal with an 8 million passenger capacity.
The said project will be implemented by the Department of Transportation headed by Secretary Arthur Tugade.
Cauguiran also added that the Duterte administration plans to build another terminal by 2019 or before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends.
In its report, CIAC seeks to maximize in the next two to three years the existing terminal with a capacity of 4.2 million passengers annually.
“Plans of maximizing CRK are aligned with [Transportation] Secretary [Arthur] Tugade’s efforts to ease the congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Metro Manila,” the CIAC executive added.