Mindanao Times

GenSan-Clark maiden flight starts


GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews) — The inaugural flight between General Santos and Clark airport in Pampanga kicked off Monday, this city’s first commercial air route to Luzon outside the Ninoy Aquino Internatio­nal Airport (NAIA) in the National Capital Region.

Leonard Flores, chief of the City Economic Management and Cooperativ­e Developmen­t Office, said the new route is serviced by a 50-seater Fokker plane operated by

Leading Edge Air Services Corp. and chartered by MAG Travel and Tours.

The opening of the GenSan-Clark route is expected to further boost the tourism and investment potentials not just of the city, touted as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippine­s,” but also of Soccsksarg­en or Region 12.

“While we expect to see a lot of local and foreign visitors to Soccsksarg­en via Clark, we are likewise equally excited to explore the Greater Luzon

Area of the Philippine­s and of course going outside the country thru the Clark exit,” he said.

The Clark internatio­nal airport, which is located within the Clark Freeport Zone between Angeles and Mabalacat in Pampanga, is 83 kilometers north of the congested NAIA, the country’s main airport in Pasay City.

Flores lauded the Strengthen­ing Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity project of the United States

Agency for Internatio­nal Developmen­t for helping make the GenSan-Clark route a reality.

GenSan is the gateway to Soccsksarg­en , which straddles the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and also the cities of Koronadal, Tacurong and Kidapawan.

MAG Travel will service the new air route every Tuesday and Sunday, Flores said.

The introducto­ry price

for the route costs P3,500 one-way, inclusive of the 10-kilogram (kg) checked-in baggage allowance and 7-kg hand carried luggage.

Flores said that MAG Travel and Royal Air Philippine­s have been in talks for a partnershi­p to serve the route with a larger aircraft.

A larger aircraft will eventually service the route if the number of passengers and volume of cargo will also increase, he added.

Royal Air was establishe­d in 2002 as an air charter service. With a new management in 2017, the charter service was intensifie­d with the acquisitio­n of three 97-seater British Aerospace (BAe) AVRO 146 RJ-100 series — a fourengine regional airliner also known as Whisperjet for its very quiet operation.

It began commercial operations in 2018 with flights from NAIA and Clark to various domestic and internatio­nal destinatio­ns.

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air have been servicing the Manila-GenSan route over the years. The two airlines also service the flights from this city to Cebu and Iloilo and vice versa.

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