January-May passenger volume soars 21% at Clark airport

By Ding Cervantes

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga, Philippines – Amid a 16-percent slump in aviation passenger volume in the Asia-Pacific region in the first half of this year, air travel via the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here continues to surge.

The Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) reported yesterday a 21-percent increase in international passenger volume from January to May this year at the airport.

“I am happy to report that despite a 16-percent slump in the first five months of 2009 in the entire aviation industry in the Asia Pacific Region caused by the global economic recession and more recently the A (H1N1), the DMIA posted a 21-percent growth over the first five months of this year,” said CIAC president and chief executive officer Victor Jose Luciano.

Luciano noted this during the eighth leg of CIAC’s promotional campaign or “road show” held at the Camp John Hay Trade and Cultural Center in Baguio City on Tuesday. Such road shows, attended mostly by heads of travel agencies, have already been held by CIAC in key cities in provinces north of Metro Manila.

He said the 21 percent increase in passenger volume was based on figures over the same period from January to May last year.

CIAC’s corporate planning department noted 251,719 international passengers processed at the DMIA up to May this year, as against only 208,858 in 2008. This meant an increase of 42,861 passengers.

The report also showed a significant increase of passenger volume particularly last January which was noted at 27 percent comprising of 53, 068 passengers,  compared to the 41,944 passengers in January last year.

“Our CIAC roadshows are a big boost to the airport’s intent to serve as international gateway to all people in Northern Luzon,” he said.

“We invite leaders of the travel agencies, the hotel industry, the chambers of commerce, the Rotary Clubs and the Jaycees, and all other sectors to take advantage of the proximity of the DMIA,” Luciano sid.

CIAC road shows have already been held in cities and major towns in Pampanga, Bulacan, Zambales, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan and Ilocos Norte.

DMIA hosts foreign and local carriers such as Tiger Airways with Clark-Singapore flights, Air Asia with Clark-Kuala Lumpur and Kotakinabalu flights, Asiana Airlines with Clark-Incheon, South Korea flights connecting to the US, China and Japan.

Local carrier Cebu Pacific Air also has Clark-Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, and Bangkok flights while South East Asian Airlines (Seair) and Zest Air has Clark-Caticlan flights for tourists going to the world famous Boracay Beach.

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