Philippine Airlines (PAL) continues to expand its network of flights from Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga with the opening of three new routes to San Vicente (Palawan), San Jose (Occidental Mindoro), and Cauayan (Isabela).
All three routes will utilize PAL’s brand-new 86-seater Bombardier Next-Generation Q400 turboprop aircraft, which are fitted with six economy plus premium seats and 80 roomy economy class regular seats.
Services from CRK to San Vicente and San Jose begin on October 28, 2018, while flights to Cauayan start October 30.
Flights to San Vicente will commence with five flights a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays), and will increase to daily flights by December 18. Flights depart Clark at 7:00 a.m., arriving in San Vicente one hour and 40 minutes later.
PAL is pioneering regular flights to the newly opened airport at San Vicente, a first-class municipality and gateway to El Nido in north Palawan. San Vicente’s 14-kilometer, white-sand Long Beach is a fast emerging tourist attraction.
Meanwhile, San Jose in Occidental Mindoro will have four flights each week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, leaving Clark at 11:00 a.m. The return flight departs San Jose at 12:05 p.m.
Vacation spots in San Jose include Aroma beach, Ambulong, and White Island, as well as ancient burial caves and shell divers at Ilin island and Mt. Iglit National Park.
Starting October 30, PAL starts its three times weekly flights (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) to Cauayan in central Isabela, the service seen to help hasten economic growth in the country’s second biggest province. The Q400NG will leave Clark 11:00 a.m., arriving at Cauayan 45 minutes later.
PAL used to fly the Manila-San Jose and Manila-Cauayan routes several decades back as two of the so-called missionary routes operated out of Manila.
In a statement, PAL said the decision to make CRK the origin for new routes to Mindoro and Isabela reflects the flag carrier’s confidence in the emerging popularity of Central Luzon as an economic center and strategically important aviation gateway in its own right.
“PAL made a big decision to invest in Clark. The Clark International Airport is not just a stopover or refueling station. Clark is our fastest growing hub airport, center of a network of flights that connects the country,” said Bonifacio U. Sam, president of PAL sister airline PAL Express, which will operate the new routes.
“I would like to thank the people of Pampanga, Tarlac, and the surrounding provinces for supporting our flights here. Our operations would not have grown to this magnitude if not for your support,” Sam added.
With a network of 18 domestic destinations and one international route (to Seoul/Incheon), PAL has strengthened its position as the biggest airline operator out of CRK in Clark.
The flag carrier noted that CRK is no longer just an alternate aerodrome to help decongest Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, but is now recognized as PAL’s fastest growing hub airport.
Now with 18 domestic destinations, CRK has also overtaken another PAL hub of operations, Cebu, which has 15, in number of domestic points linked.
PAL started developing CRK as a hub in December 2016 with a flight to Caticlan. The first PAL international flight from CRK was to Incheon, South Korea, in January 2017.