By Emmie V. Abadilla
Jetstar Asia starts a new direct service to Singapore from Clark International Airport (CRK) this November 28. The new route will provide more than 410,000 seats a year in total capacity between the Philippines and Singapore.
It will be the airline’s first service from Clark, the complementary gateway to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), according to Jetstar Asia CEO Bara Pasupathi
Jetstar Asia will operate Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between Clark and Singapore on its 180-seat Airbus A320, broadening the low-fares options for more than 24 million residents from the airport’s catchment population who are currently underserved.
The budget carrier first took to the skies in December, 2004 and currently operates more than 600 weekly return flights to 25 destinations across 13 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region.
The airline was recognized as the top budget airline in a travel poll by smarttravelasia.com in 2017 after surveying more than 30,000 frequent travellers from Asia, China, US and Europe. It was also listed as one of the top 10 safest low-cost airlines in the world in 2017 by airlineratings.com.
“Low fares travel in the Philippines is booming and these additional services give another option for direct services to Singapore, Southeast Asia and beyond,” Pasupathi noted. Furthermore, “Adding more than 56,000 extra seats in a year will be a step towards supporting the Philippine government’s agenda to ease congestion at NAIA.”
“The (CRK-Singapore) flights will definitely boost our operations as we are looking at more travellers who may now choose Clark to fly Jetstar,” according to Alexander Cauguiran, President and CEO of Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC).
Airline officials also announced special ticket sales from R1,000 via jetstar.com beginning August 15 to celebrate the new CRK-Singapore flights.
Clark airport’s catchment population consists of Regions 1 (Ilocos) at 5 million; Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) at 3.4 million; Region 3 (Central Luzon) at 11.2 million; the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) at 1.7 million; and the CAMANAVA area (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) with 2.8 million, totaling more than 24 million potential passengers.
CRK currently has 134 international flights and 104 domestic flights weekly and passenger traffic is projected to reach 1.5 million by end of 2017.
Meanwhile, China Eastern Airlines, China’s second largest carrier by passenger numbers, will begin its Clark-Shanghai flights on October 18.
Also within the year, Philippine Airlines will add its Tagbilaran, Bacolod and Cagayan de Oro routes from Clark.
In addition to expanding its commercial horizons, the construction of CRK’s new terminal-building that can take in 8 million passengers annually is scheduled to be finished by the first quarter of 2020.