CHINESE carrier China Eastern Airlines will start flying from Clark International Airport in Pampanga to Shanghai starting October 18, Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) announced on Friday.
“China Eastern also targets mostly business travellers and Chinese family tourists who wish to visit popular local destinations, and that influx will boost the local hotel industry and business communities in North and Central Luzon,” CIAC President and Chief Executive Officer Alexander Cauguiran said in a statement.
Earlier, a representative of China Eastern said the airline is keen on mounting flights via Clark as it is “encouraged by its marketability and the increasing number of its local destinations.”
Around 630,000 Chinese tourists visited the Philippines from January to November 2016 but with warmer ties with Beijing now, the Department of Tourism said that it expects this number of arrivals to double by the end of 2017.
According to Cauguiran, negotiations for direct flights from Clark to the US, Japan, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Taiwan and Thailand are ongoing.
Clark International Airport recorded a total of 632,713 passengers from January to May this year.
A new terminal building is to be constructed and when finished, the terminal can take in 8 million passengers annually, or about double the current capacity of 4.2 million passengers. The project will be tendered to investors this month and construction is targeted to be finished by the first quarter of 2020.