PAL starts Clark Operation today! This is perfect Filipino Time – haha.
On Sunday, August 28, 2016 PAL announced:
Philippine Airlines will be implementing flight schedule changes effective September 1, 2016 and will soon operate flights out of Clark International Airport.
The full text is here. This announcement contained a list of 12 return and 2 one way flights from/to Clark. In our article we doubted whether this new hub would be successful. Some readers, especially those from Pampagna, opposed to our article. They said that they would welcome flight connections from Clark to other places in the Philippines. We perfectly understand these people because here in Camiguin we also would like to have at least two flights per day.
Only 3.5 months later – it’s Filipino Time
Last Tuesday, December 13, Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) specifying the commitments of both entities in line with the carrier’s domestic and international flights to be operated from the Pampanga hub. The content of the MoA in short:
PAL has committed to mount flights at the International Airport in two stages.
Phase 1 commences with flights between Clark and Caticlan (Boracay) on December 16, 2016.
Phase 2 begins on the first quarter of 2017 via non-stop flights between Clark and Cebu, Davao and Cagayan as well as flights between Clark and Incheon, South Korea.
First flights today
The first flight today: PR2370 leaves Caticlan at 10 a.m. and touches down in Clark at 11:15 a.m. The second flight: PR2371 departs Clark at 11:35 a.m. and arrives in Caticlan at 12:50. The plane should be a Bombardier-DH4:
We tried to follow this inaugural flight on FlightRadar24.com, but we couldn’t see that plane on the radar map.
Google listed the flight:
It seems to be a good idea to use a rather small plane (DH4) to start this new route. The new Caticlan/Boracay airport (MPH) can now also accept larger birds. PAL’s optimism is big. During the meeting last Tuesday, they also announced:
Passengers from Singapore, Japan, Korea and Los Angeles may likewise fly directly to Cebu and take the Cebu-Caticlan-Clark service and enjoy Pampanga before traveling by land to Baguio or Laoag up north. They may also connect to regional and international points PAL flies to from the Queen City of the South.
PAL also announced that on January 30 next year, it will begin its four times weekly non-stop flights between Clark and Cebu via PR837/PR838.
Meanwhile, the carrier starts operating thrice weekly non-stop flights between Clark and Davao via PR831/PR832 and daily flights between Clark and Incheon, South Korea via PR492/PR493 beginning February 1.
We are happy that the fairy tale became true today. At least the beginning is done. And Filipino Time did only strike on the months. Today’s flight seems to be really on-time!