Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. yesterday said flight cancellations due to the country’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit could be minimized if the regular commercial flights are diverted to Clark International Airport in Angeles City.
“It has been done in the past and can be done again without inconveniencing passengers and disrupting airline operations,” Belmonte said in a statement.
He pointed out there are many countries where airports are not located in the heart of the city and that the issue could be resolved by providing good and efficient shuttle services to comfortably transport passengers from the airport to the city.
“After all, (Clark) is not too far away, considering road improvements undertaken through the years,” Belmonte said.
He said diversion of flights to Clark and other viable airports could lead to better facilities and boost tourism.
“This could also eventually open our doors to more tourists and airlines as we decongest our Manila airport, provide avenues where travel is not disrupted and develop Clark further, as well as, potentially, other viable airports within the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, airlines have started making arrangements to divert their scheduled commercial flights that will be affected when the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is placed under a no-fly zone from Monday to Friday next week.
Emigdio Tanjuatco Jr., Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president, said Cebu Pacific has scheduled the diversion of at least four domestic flights from NAIA to Clark during those days.
The diverted flights include the Manila to Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Dumaguete and Tagbilaran airports and vice versa.
Tanjuatco expects more cancelled flights of other airlines to be diverted to Clark airport as final arrangements are made.
“We assured Cebu Pacific management and their passengers that we will extend all necessary assistance to support the rerouted flights involving A319 and A320 aircraft,” Tanjuatco said.
Cebu Pacific earlier announced the cancellation of at least 260 flights, including 26 international flights, to and from NAIA during the duration of the APEC Summit week, which starts Nov. 16 to 20.
Source: Nov 12 Philstar