The count down to the launch of Emirates’ new destination in the Philippines is well underway with just 10 weeks to go until the first flight.
Clark International, in Angeles, 80 kilometres north of Manila, will become the airline’s second destination in the south east Asian archipelago after Manila.
The Clark route, effective 1st October, will create a new channel to connect millions of Filipinos living around the world - the Middle East being one of the most popular overseas regions.
Nearly 680,000 Filipinos live in the UAE alone, according to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. Introductory fares from Dubai to Clark International start at AED 2,605
A further 342,000 Filipinos reside in Qatar and 186,000 are based in Kuwait.
But the biggest Filipino population in the Middle East, by far, is in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Commission reports that over 1.5 million Filipinos are living in the Kingdom.
“When you see these figures showing the full extent of the Filipino diaspora, it’s clear how important a new route to the Philippines becomes,” said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Gulf Middle East & Iran. “ Over more than 20 years, Emirates has carried millions of passengers on the Dubai-Manila route and I am sure with the number of Filipinos on the move around the world, Clark will be equally successful.”
Manila was one of Emirates’ early routes in south east Asia, starting a service there back in 1990 – just five years after Emirates was established.
Demand has been such that Manila has become a triple daily service, boosting tourism and trade between the Philippines, Dubai and beyond. Over the 23 years, Emirates has carried a total of 5.3 million passengers on the Dubai-Manila sector.
“I think it is very significant that Emirates is finally flying into another destination in the Philippines because it will open a whole vista of opportunities for both our countries, said H.E. Grace Relucio Princesa, the Philippines’ Ambassador to the UAE. “First of all, it will help Filipinos all over the world – they’re passing through the Dubai hub and riding one of the largest airlines in the world, Emirates, to fly nearer their communities of origin, like in Pampanga, where Clark International Airport is. It will also mean access to Subic Freeport area and the Bataan area, which will also open tourism and investment opportunities for both countries.”
The new Clark service will be operated by a two-class Boeing 777-300ER. EK 338 will depart Dubai at 0400hrs and arrive at Clark International Airport at 1640hrs. The return flight, EK339 will depart at 1835hrs and arrive at Dubai International Airport at 2305hrs.
Customers can flick between over 1400 channels of in-flight entertainment on the world-renowned ice system, while enjoying gourmet-chef prepared food in all classes, served by highly trained, multi-national cabin crew.
Generous luggage allowances give passengers in Economy Class 30kg, Business Class travellers can check-in 40kg and First Class customers 50kg.
First and Business Class passengers can also benefit from a complimentary chauffeur drive service to and from Dubai International, priority check-in and exclusive lounge access.
With a second gateway into the Philippines, Emirates SkyCargo will be able to provide more than 160 tonnes of additional cargo hold capacity each way per week.
It is estimated that 10 million Filipinos live outside the Philippines – about 10% of the country’s home population. The largest number of overseas Filipinos, 3.4 million, reside in the United States.
Other significant Filipino populations in the Middle East can be found in Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and Oman, according to the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration.