Cebu Pacific to fly Clark-GenSan-Clark route starting April

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 8 March)—The trade and tourism potentials of this city, the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines,” and neighboring areas in Soccsksargen will get a big boost with the revival of the air route with Clark in Pampanga, an official said.

Passengers walk towards the departure area of the General Santos City Airport. MindaNews file photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

Leonard Flores, head of the City Economic Management and Cooperative Development Office, said that Cebu Pacific will service the Clark-GenSan-Clark route.

“[The opening of air] routes is a proven strategy to sustain trade, investment and tourism promotion interventions,” he said.

Based on Cebu Pacific’s website, the firm will start serving the direct Clark-GenSan-Clark link on April 26.

The new air route is expected to benefit not only the local economies of Clark and Gensan but also the wider regions of the two areas, Flores noted.

The two areas are significant hubs for trade, tourism and agriculture, and the new air link is likely to increase business opportunities and promote greater economic integration, he added.

In February 2020, a Fokker-50 aircraft operated by Leading Edge Air Services Corp. started serving the GenSan-Clark-GenSan route twice a week but the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the operator to stop the service.

Flores said that with Cebu Pacific serving the Clark-GenSan route, it will provide a more convenient way to travel between the two cities.

Without such a flight, travel between the two areas involved multiple transfers and lengthy travel times, making it an arduous and time-consuming trip. Travelers have to go through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila or the Mactan-Cebu airport in the Visayas.

With three flights per week available in April, travel time between Clark and GenSan has been reduced to just over an hour, making it much easier for business travelers, tourists and locals to get from one city to the other.

Cebu Pacific will serve the route every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, leaving Clark at 5:05 a.m. and arriving in GenSan at 7:25 a.m., and returning at 7:55 a.m.

GenSan is the gateway to Soccsksargen, which is composed of the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani.

The GenSan airport, which started operation in 1996, has been serving commercial flights from Manila, Cebu and Iloilo and vice versa. In 1993, the US government extended a $47.6-million grant for the construction of the airport. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)