The launch of the Clark-Bacolod route by the Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Dec. 15 is seen to boost trade and tourism ties between Negros Occidental and Pampanga.
Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), said the connectivity would strengthen economic activities in the province since Pampanga is a gateway to other potential areas in Luzon.
“Tourism is one major trade commodity that the additional flights can bridge,” Carbon said.
PAL will have initial four flights a week, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, between Clark International Airport and the Bacolod-Silay International Airport via Airbus 320.
These are in addition to the current five daily flights between Manila and Bacolod, and two daily flights between Cebu and Bacolod.
Carbon said more travelers are encouraged to pass through the Bacolod-Clark route to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
He, however, said despite the additional flights connecting Bacolod to other provinces, the Bacolod-Manila route should stay.
“The business sector welcomes this new development but flights going to Manila should stay as it is still the major destination of most travelers,” Carbon added.
He said trading of agricultural products between Negros Occidental and the provinces in Luzon could also get a boost through the Clark-Bacolod flights.
Carbon added that Negros Occidental still sources vegetables, fruits and flowers from Benguet and Baguio, and other agricultural commodities, like garlic, onion and even rice, from Luzon.
The flights would create faster and more efficient delivery of products resulting in lesser transport costs, he added.
Improvement in sea and air connectivity would result in more enterprises and more employment for Negrenses, Carbon added. (EN/PNA)