The Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) bared the business opportunities that will result in the development of Clark International Airport (CRK), as Qatar Airways laid out expansion plans to target upscale travelers going to destinations in Europe, the US and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
Earlier, President Duterte announced a plan to increase utilization of the Clark airport as international gateway to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arturo Tugade has said that among the benefits from the President’s recent trip to China is the increase in flights through CRK.
Officials of CIAC led by its president and CEO Alexander Cauguiran met Monday with Qatar Airlines country manager Paolo Pausini for talks on further cooperation and strengthened partnership in developing CRK.
Qatar Airways is a major international carrier at CRK, with regular flights for its Clark-Doha route servicing mostly overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Central and Northern Luzon.
Pausini said Qatar Airways is looking to expand its market by developing leisure, business and corporate traffic to Europe, the US and the Gulf countries by tapping into its networks in the Philippines, South Africa, North Africa and the Middle East.
Pausini said Qatar Airways is now working on an 18-month marketing plan which he will offer to CIAC for the two companies to work on.
Cauguiran, for his part, said marketing the airport and the airlines operating at the Clark airport is a key part in the programs CIAC is implementing immediately.
“This is a plan of action we approved during our recent strategic planning conference,” Cauguiran said, adding that CIAC will be conducting road tours to promote the flights at the Clark International Airport.
He also announced the development of a brand image for Clark.
“The marketing and branding campaign will target our catchment area like Northern Philippines and the northern part of Metro Manila like Caloocan and Quezon City,” he said.
Cauguiran added that CIAC will be visiting many regions in Northern Philippines, including the Camanava area during its road tours to inform potential passengers, particularly OFWs on the benefits and convenience of flying out and into Clark.
Pausini said Qatar Airways will cooperate in doing co-branding activities and roadshows together.
“It’s very important to promote Clark as even a better gateway to crowded Manila,” he stressed.
Aside from Qatar Airways, Clark Airport is also host to other Middle East carrier such as Emirates Airlines that flies daily circular service via Dubai-Cebu-Clark. Others include South Korea’s Asiana Airlines and Jin Air via Incheon-Clark and Pusan; Dragonair via Clark-Hong Kong, Cebu Pacific via Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau and domestically to Cebu; Tiger Air via Singapore.