PAL expands domestic routes

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has expanded its domestic network with the opening of eight new routes – from Clark and Cebu – in the first quarter of 2017.

These are:

  • Clark-Cebu
  • Clark-Davao
  • Clark-Puerto Princesa
  • Clark- Coron (Busuanga)
  • Cebu-Puerto Princesa
  • Cebu-General Santos
  • Cebu-Surigao
  • Cebu-Coron (Busuanga)

“We are introducing new domestic routes to allow travelers to reach their desired destinations without the need to transit in Manila. Passengers get to experience the unique PAL brand of service even on short flights,” said PAL President Jaime J. Bautista.

The four times a week Clark to Cebu service started on January 30, 2017, departing Clark 7:00 AM. Flights will increase to daily on March 26.

The three times weekly Clark to Davao flight started on February 1, leaving Clark 10:50 AM. The service increases to four times weekly on March 26.

The three times a week Clark to Puerto Princesa service starts March 26, departing Clark also at 10:50 AM.

The daily Clark to Coron flights, using the 56-seater Q300 airplane, will begin also March 26.

The other new routes out of Clark will use the 199-seater Airbus A321 jet.

PAL started using Clark as hub of operations on Dec. 16, 2016 with a Clark-Caticlan service, followed by the first international flight, Clark-Incheon, on Jan. 1.

Meanwhile, the four new routes out of Cebu will start March 26.

Cebu-Puerto Princesa flights will be four times a week; Cebu-General Santos three times a week; Cebu-Surigao three times a week; and Cebu-Coron daily.

Flights to Puerto Princesa and General Santos will use the 156-seater A320 aircraft. Flights to Surigao will use the 76-seater Q400 while those to Coron will use the Q300.

The new routes from Cebu bring to 12 the total number of domestic points, apart from Manila, linked to Cebu.

PAL operated its first Manila-Cebu flight in 1946 after World War II. The flag carrier used to operate missionary flights to link the islands and help spur economic development in the countryside.

NEDA wants sectors to diversify

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) wants sectors of the Philippine economy to diversify their products and markets and build resiliency to support higher growth.

The country’s chief economist, NEDA director-general Ernesto Pernia says: “We need to champion innovation and diversification in the industry sector as it is still heavily dependent on external demand.

Pernia says the services sector, on the other hand, need for a policy environment that makes it easier for firms to set up and operate businesses, as well as to comply with regulations.

“In this respect, we need to make our regulatory system much more efficient and transparent,” he noted.

The NEDA chief expects the industry and services sectors to remain strong this year.

“The construction industry, in particular, will be in the limelight following the government’s aggressive commitment to approve and implement critical infrastructure projects,” he said.

The Philippine economy expanded 6.8 percent in 2016, with services contributing 4.3 percent and industry sharing 2.7 percent. The agriculture sector contributed negative 0.1 percent.

The agriculture sector returned to negative territory at 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, reeling from the effects of typhoons “Karen” and “Lawin” during the fourth quarter of 2016.

Pernia identified extreme weather disturbances like the El Nino among the risks to economic growth which is projected at 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent this year.

“The country remains vulnerable to very strong typhoons. There is a strong call to develop our agriculture sector and make it resilient to such shocks.”