“I can now confirm that Emirates will announce daily services on the Dubai-Cebu-Clark route within the next few days. Services will operate seven days per week from Dubai, serving Cebu, then Clark and onto Dubai, in a circular pattern,” said Salem Obaidalla, senior vice president on aeropolitical and industry affairs of the United Arab Emirates.
In a letter to Civil Aviation Board Director Victor Jose Luciano, Obaidalla said “We plan to commence operations from 30 March 2016, with a 2-class 777- 300ER.”
“I am sure you will join me in welcoming this fantastic news for the Philippines, which should be a hugely positive development for tourism, trade and the ongoing development of the Philippines’ regional economies,” he said in his letter.
Emirates used to operate at the Clark airport starting October 2013, but suspended its daily Clark-Dubai flights in May, 2014 due to controversial jet fuel taxes and intense competition from other airlines.
Officials of the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) described the stoppage of the Emirates flights as a “temporary setback” to the Clark airport which had high hopes the entry of gulf carriers in 2013 would bolster efforts to establish itself as an alternative bgateway to NAIA.
Emirates’ decision to launch “triangular” Dubai-Cebu-Clark flights came after CAB granted the airlines four additional frequencies per week at the NAIA.
In his letter to Luciano, Obaidalla noted that “Emirates has a long standing, and very strong commitment to the Philippines.”
“We have been operating services to Manila since 1990, linking the Philippines with over 100 global destinations. As you will be aware, the recent air services talks resulted in the granting of four additional frequencies per week for Emirates to Manila from Dubai, and we will be introducing these on 29 March 2016, the earliest available opportunity to do so,” he said.
Obaidalla also said “We also hope that our desired introduction of the world’s flagship A380 aircraft on one of our daily Manila services will take place soon, further adding to the prestige of the airport and underlining the global significance of the city.”
Referring to the plan for the Dubai-Cebu-Clark flights, he said “we do support your enthusiasm for adding further points in the Philippines to our global network, so we wanted to share some good news with you before it is officially announced.”
In an earlier meeting with local media, Luciano stressed that the Emirates flights from Dubai would not be allowed to pick up passengers from Cebu who are bound only for Clark. They can, however, board passengers bound for Dubai.