Clark airport operator expects 20% more cargo shipments this year

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Clark airport operator expects 20% more cargo shipments this year
Noel Manankil, CEO of Luzon International Airport Premiere Development, operator of Clark International Airport, at the Central Luzon Transport & Trade Conference 2024 on May 24 at Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort in Clark, Pampanga. The conference themed "Harnessing Logistics for Sustainable Growth" was co-organized by PortCalls and the Philippine Multimodal Transport and Logistics Association.
  • Clark International Airport operator Luzon International Premiere Airport Development expects to handle more cargoes this year with increased flights anticipated at the Luzon gateway
  • LIPAD projects to process 20% more shipments in 2024 from 2023’s 44.2 tons
  • Belly cargo capacity is available on commercial flights to 10 international and six domestic destinations

Clark International Airport operator Luzon International Premiere Airport Development (LIPAD) expects to handle more cargoes this year with more flights anticipated at the Luzon gateway.

LIPAD chief executive officer Noel Manankil, in an interview with PortCalls at the sidelines of the recent Central Luzon Transport & Trade Conference 2024, said it projects to process 20% more shipments from 2023’s 44.2 tons.

LIPAD won the 25-year concession to operate CRK in 2019.

From 2019 to 2023, cargoes handled at the Clark, Pampanga gateway grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% from 19.1 tons in 2019, Manankil said in a presentation during the conference organized by PortCalls and the Philippine Multimodal Transport and Logistics Association.

On a year-on-year basis though, CRK saw a 10% decline from 49.2 tons in 2022.

Cargo flights also saw a CAGR of 3% from 2019 to 2023, increasing from 3,091 in 2019 to 3,502 flights in 2023. Cargo flights in 2023, however, dropped 14% from 4,058 flights in 2022.

In terms of available belly cargo capacity from commercial flights, CRK has the following:

International flights

  • Doha, Qatar – five times weekly flights capable of handling 12 tons per flight
  • Dubai, UAE – six times weekly, 23 tons per flight
  • Singapore – 10 times weekly, two to four tons per flight
  • Bangkok, Thailand – daily flights, two tons per flight
  • Incheon, South Korea – 18 times weekly, two tons per flight
  • Busan, South Korea – four times weekly, two tons per flight
  • Chengdu, China – two times weekly, two tons per flight
  • Narita, Japan – four times weekly, two tons per flight
  • Taipei, Taiwan – 12 times weekly, 10 tons per flight
  • Hong Kong – 18 times weekly, two tons per flight

Domestic flights

  • Cebu – 17 weekly flights, two tons for jets, 300 kilograms (kg) for the ATR
  • Davao – daily until this month, two tons
  • Caticlan – 18 times, two tons for jets, 300 kg for ATR
  • Busuanga – 11 times weekly, 300 kg per flight
  • Siargao – daily, 300 kg per flight
  • San Vicente – daily, 300 kg per flight

Aside from commercial flights, CRK also handles freighter operations of six airlines going to eight destinations with 39 weekly frequencies.

These include FedEx, United Parcel Service (UPS), Tianjin Air Cargo, Central Airlines of China, JDL, and Seair for domestic. The destinations include eight times weekly to Shenzen and Guangzhou, six times weekly to Taipei, five times weekly to Saigon, two times weekly to Singapore, Nanning, and Zhengzhou; and six times weekly to Cebu.

UPS earlier also said it is expanding its operations at CRK with the construction of a new hub set to be operational in late 2026.

CRK also has four ground-handling agents accredited to facilitate both passengers and cargoes, namely Clark Airport Support Services Corp. (CASSC), MacroAsia Airport Services Corp., Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions, Inc. (PAGGS); and dnata.

Aside from shipping air cargo, CRK already has four cargo storage facilities with over 20,000 square meters (sqm) capacity with cold chain capability.

Of the total, PAGGS’ facility account for 1,033 sqm, CASSC with 4,900 sqm, Cargohaus has 15,500 sqm, and Isla Bonded Warehouse and Logistics Corp. with 3,500 sqm capacity.

Manankil noted that CRK has dedicated service roads to the cargo facilities, allowing transportation of cargoes from the warehouses to the airport tarmac in just 10 minutes.

“So what does that mean? That means it’s very efficient and then the cost of shipping goods therefore is that lower than other ports of shipment,” Manankil noted.

Further, Manankil said CRK is connected by land through various expressways, and by sea through Subic port in Zambales, and supported by an “ecosystem to facilitate shipment of cargoes,” including Clark Development Corp. and Bureau of Customs.

In terms of development, CRK’s masterplan allows for expansion to two more runways and to accommodate more passengers and flights.

“The good thing about the Clark Airport development is there is no impediment to construction. There are no right-of-way, there are no informal settlers,” Manankil said.  – Roumina Pablo