Clark International Airport remains viable for passenger and cargo services that will help link Cebu and Clark to the rest of the world, according to an official of Emirates Airlines.
Emirates Airlines officially commenced its daily Dubai-Cebu-Clark circular flights on March 30, utilizing Boeing 777-300ER that will further connect the Philippines to 150 destinations in the world.
“Yes, Clark remains viable,” Badr Abbas, senior vice president for commercial operations in the Far East of Emirates Airlines said, when asked by reporters.
“Whenever we start any destinations, we look at the passenger and cargo demand, so we believe that is sufficient in Clark,” Abbas said.
“We believe there is enough passenger and cargo demand and we believe it will be a successful operation,” Abbas said.
Abbas said Emirates decided to have circular service linking Cebu and Clark because around 75 percent of Filipinos working in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar are from Central and Northern Luzon. “Clark Airport is very near,” he said.
“This is also one advantage and reason for starting our circular services. And also in Cebu, people living in the Visayas and Mindanao will benefit from our services,” Abbas said.
Abbas said close to a million OFWs are in the UAE and the Gulf. “The Gulf is the second largest after the United States for Filipino overseas workers,” he said.
Abbas said Emirates decided to return to Clark because “a circular service to Cebu-Clark will be very good for Emirates to connect and to give more connectivity and options for the Filipinos, tourists and businesses and cargo.”
“And again as I mentioned, the population and the people are actually from these areas which will be very easy for them to come to Clark and Cebu and connect from there,” he said.
“With this new circular services, we also see a growth in the number of passengers flying between Philippines, Cebu and Clark particularly Dubai and beyond Dubai connecting to our 150 destinations throughout the network especially to 39 destinations to Europe and 16 destinations in the Middle East and several destinations in Africa and also Americas,” Abbas said.
“This is to make it easy very easy and convenient for the passengers by giving them more options and more frequencies and connectivity. Now we have daily services from Cebu and Clark plus 18 weekly flights from Manila. Giving that option for the passengers will help grow the numbers,” he said.