Dragonair’s Wilson Yam (in coat) cuts ceremonial ribbon with DOT Assistant Sec. Benito Bengzon, CIAC’s Victor Jose Luciano and CDC’s Eduardo Oban Jr. during the airline’s inaugural flight at Clark on Tuesday.
The Dragonair plane at the ceremonial shower.
Photos by Ric Gonzales
CLARK FREEPORT – “We are glad to be a part of the opportunity to improve leisure and business in Clark.”
Thus said Wilson Yam, regional manager of Dragonair, in his speech at the send-off ceremonies of the airline’s inaugural flight to Hong Kong via Clark International Airport on Tuesday.
Dragonair is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways.
The daily Clark-Hong Kong trips will bring to 56 the total number of flights of Dragonair in the country.
In 2008, Dragonair launched its Manila-Hong Kong flights.
Yam stressed that they had remained confident of the market in the Philippines and the world despite the recent global recession that affected the airline industry.
Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) President and CEO Victor Jose Luciano said “this is a momentous event in the life of the Clark International Airport, to have been chosen the second destination in the Philippines of the renowned airline, although young in history has achieved what no airline has.”
“Dragonair, you come at an opportune time to Clark. Today domestic and international flights, now at the rate of 300 flight movements a week cloud over the skies.
In the first five months of 2012, passenger volume has grown by 50 percent over the same period last year, and we are all well on our way to receiving towards the end of the year the 5th million passenger that passed this airport since the start of passenger flights in November of 2003,” said Luciano.
He was joined by Department of Tourism (DOT) Assistant Sec. Benito Bengzon, DOT regional Director Ronnie Tiotuico and Clark Development Corp. (CDC) President and CEO Eduardo Oban Jr. in the ceremonies.
For his part, Bengzon said the new flights of Dragonair will help realize the five-year tourism development plan of President Aquino.
He disclosed at least 112,000 people travelled from Hong Kong to the country in 2011. In the first three months of 2012, he added, there are 30,000 tourists, “a modest increase of three percent.”
Dragonair is a Hong Kong-based airline operating a fleet of 35 passenger aircraft and serving 38 regional destinations, including 19 cities in Mainland China.