Korean Air’s budget carrier begins flights from Clark

by Rey Garcia, BusinessWorld

Posted at Oct 28 2010 12:22 AM | Updated as of Oct 28 2010 08:22 AM

CLARK FREE PORT -- South Korean budget carrier Jin Air yesterday officially started regular international flights from the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), and will be plying the Incheon-Clark-Incheon route 5 times weekly.

Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) President and Chief Executive Victor Jose Luciano said a total of 170 passengers bound for Incheon, Korea boarded the 1 a.m. Boeing 737-800 flight at the DMIA Terminal, signaling the start of Jin Air’s regular flights from the free port.

Mr. Luciano along with CIAC Vice-President for Administration and Finance Lauro Ortile, welcomed Jin Air President and Chief Executive Kim Jae Gun, who was among the passengers of Jin Air’s Boeing 737-800 plane. A simple welcome ceremony was held at the DMIA Terminal.

Jin Air is the latest budget carrier to operate at the 2,367-hectare Clark Civil Aviation Complex in Clark Freeport Zone, after regional players Air Asia of Malaysia and Tiger Airways of Singapore.

The carrier will operate 5 flights weekly at Clark using the 180-seater Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Jin Air is the sixth international airline to operate at the DMIA and the second South Korean commercial airline after Asiana Airlines, which started operations in October 2003.

Jin Air is a wholly owned subsidiary of Korean Air, the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea.

Korean Air serves 130 cities in 45 countries around the world, while its domestic divisions serve 20 destinations.

Jin Air began operations in July 2008 with destinations in Korea using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. In October 2009, it began flights to Guam, Osaka, and Bangkok.

“Since 2004, Korean tourists have immensely contributed to the local economy of Angeles City and the communities in the Metro Clark area as well as the rest of Central Luzon. There are an estimated 20,000 Korean tourists in the Clark and Subic areas,” Mr. Luciano said.

“The Korean tourists have contributed to the growth and development of Clark which in effect generated businesses and employment for the people in the area,” he added.

Mr. Luciano noted that upon arrival in Incheon, Jin Air passengers can go to other destinations.

Jin Air has 5 Boeing 737-800 aircraft in its fleet for its operations in the Southeast Asian region and Japan.

Aside from Jin Air, Asiana Airlines also flies daily to Incheon. Tiger Airways flies daily to Singapore, while Air Asia flies daily to Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.

Also operating flights at the DMIA is local carrier Cebu Pacific, which flies to Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, and Bangkok as well as to Cebu.

The Spirit of Manila Airlines flies to Taipei, while South East Asian Airlines or SEAIR flies to Caticlan.