Source: Recto Mercene, Business Mirror
STARTING October 1, Emirates will fly direct to Dubai from the Clark International Airport (CIA), allowing thousands of Filipino migrant workers from Central Luzon easy access to an international airport closer to home.
Emirates, one of the world’s largest airlines, will launch its daily nonstop flights from Clark to Dubai on Tuesday, the only international full-service carrier operating westbound from CIA, offering four daily operations between Dubai and the Philippines.
According to recruitment and migration expert Emmanuel Geslani, the opening of this new route will benefit thousands of workers bound for Dubai since they can now board at CIA instead of going all the way to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 1 in Pasay City. The migrant workers’ family that traditionally send off a relative by the jeepload would be spared the money and time by having an airport closer to their home.
Meanwhile, vacationing Filipino workers from Dubai and other Middle Eastern countries will also save time and money using this new route that is closer to the Central and Northern Luzon provinces, bypassing Naia 1 and escaping the horrendous traffic in Metro Manila.
“Filipinos now have the freedom to choose between Clark International Airport and Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which demonstrates our commitment to our customers,” Gigie Baroa, Emirates Philippines’s country manager, said.
“With this new route, we are reaching more Filipinos who live in Central and Northern Luzon, bringing them and their loved ones closer than ever.”
Clark will serve as the new exit point for the millions of Filipinos working in the Middle East, that has the second largest number of overseas Filipinos, estimated at around 2.7 million, with 1.5 million in Saudi Arabia and 680,000 in the UAE.
The overseas recruitment industry sector, Geslani said, welcomed this new gateway, which represent easy access for those with connecting flights from Dubai to Doha, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabian major cities, including Abu Dhabi, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Baroa said that during CIA President Victor Luciano’s term, passenger traffic at Clark is expected to hit the 1.5 million a year by the end of 2013. The airport has been recommended by the business sector as a viable secondary airport, with the construction of a new terminal building designed to accommodate the gradual increase of passenger traffic.
Emirates will field a Boeing 777-300ER with two class configurations allowing the airline to add more seats for about 350 passengers, Baroa said.