Cebu Pacific to open Clark-Narita route by 3rd quarter

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CEBU PACIFIC said it will start flying to Japan from its hub in Clark by the third quarter as it aims to cater to travelers from Central and North Luzon.

In a statement on Tuesday, the budget carrier said it will open a Clark-Narita route on Aug. 9 which will serve four flights weekly — every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

“There is so much untapped potential in Clark, and we are committed to expanding our Clark hub to expand tourism, trade and investment opportunities. This will open up the areas around Clark to more investors and entrepreneurs,” Cebu Pacific Vice-President for Marketing Candice Jennifer A. Iyog said.

“With direct air service between Clark and Narita, it will be easier for Japanese tourists to access destinations in Pampanga, Pangasinan, Baguio, La Union and the rest of Luzon. Conversely, it will also be easier for residents in these areas to enjoy Tokyo, with a direct flight from Clark,” she added.

The Gokongwei-led airline currently offers flights to Japan from its hubs in Manila and Cebu. It has routes to Osaka, Narita, Nagoya and Fukuoka from Manila; and to Narita from Cebu.

Cebu Pacific had earlier said it wants to develop its hub in Clark by adding more routes that will link it to popular tourist destinations. Aside from Japan, Cebu Pacific had also announced it will start serving direct flights from Clark to Iloilo and Bacolod on Aug. 9; and daily flights from Clark to Puerto Princesa on Oct. 9.

“The four new routes will boost Cebu Pacific’s total capacity in Clark by 40% in 2019 alone, following a 75% increase in 2018 with the launch of direct commercial air service to and from Davao and Panglao (Bohol); as well as additional frequency for the Clark-Macau route,” it said.

Cebu Pacific currently offers direct flights from Clark to Cebu, Caticlan, Tagbilaran, Davao, Singapore, Macau, and Hong Kong.

In 2018, the listed firm slashed its net income 50% to P3.9 billion from P7.9 billion the previous year, largely due to the high fuel prices and volatility of the Philippine peso. — Denise A. Valdez