The Philippines' leading carrier, Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB) continues to grow its hub in Clark as it is set to commence operation of its direct service to and from Narita, Japan. Cebu Pacific will be the first Philippine carrier to mount flights between Clark and Narita.
The new international route aims to harness the potential market of leisure travelers from Central and North Luzon; provide more travel options for Filipino migrant workers; and expand opportunities for inbound tourists as well as investors in the Clark, Subic and other special economic zones in the area.
Flights between Clark and Narita will run four times weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday) beginning August 9, 2019. The flight departs Clark at 7:00am—giving tourists ample time to reach Tokyo by early afternoon; while the return flight leaves Narita at 1:15pm (Tokyo time) and arrives at 5:00pm, which allows for land travel to neighboring provinces.
CEB has earlier announced it would begin direct flights between its hubs in Clark and Iloilo; as well as between Clark and Bacolod on August 9, 2019; as well as daily flights between Clark and Puerto Princesa in Palawan by October 9, 2019. The four new routes will boost CEB'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.
"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," said Candice Iyog, Vice President for Marketing and Distribution of Cebu Pacific.
Seats on the new Clark-Narita route of Cebu Pacific will be sold for as low as PHP2,099 base fare from April 2 to 9, 2019. Travel period is from August 9 to October 26, 2019.
With a population of over 23 Million in its catchment area, the Clark International Airport is one of Asia's fastest-growing airports, with passenger volume reaching about 2.5 Million in 2018. CEB has been operating flights in and out of Clark since 2006. From its Clark hub, the carrier has direct flights to Cebu, Caticlan, Tagbilaran, Davao, Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong.
"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."
Japan is one of the Philippines' top sources of inbound tourists, with 631,801 Japanese visiting the country in 2018. The Department of Tourism has also intensified its campaigns—including Joshi Tabi [Women's Travel] program, to entice Japanese tourists to visit the Philippines.
Aside from Clark, Cebu Pacific operates flights out of six other strategically placed hubs in the Philippines: Manila, Kalibo, Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro (Laguindingan) and Davao. In 2018, CEB flew 20.3 million passengers on over 2,130 weekly flights across 37 domestic and 26 international destinations.