NEGROS Occidental Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II said Thursday, November 25, that they are now considering resuming flights between Bacolod-Silay Airport in Silay City and Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
Diaz recalled that before the coronavirus disease pandemic (Covid-19), the route was operated by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific with an average load factor of 60%.
The provisional resumption of scheduled flights to Clark will take place around the third week of December of this year, he said.
The provincial administrator, however, noted that airlines are also cautious about resuming flights, fearing they will lose money if there are only a small number of passengers on the route.
âWith the pandemic, they are currently not sure they can achieve the 60% load factor,â he said.
Diaz said the provincial government also offered the two airlines if they could swap some of their flights from Manila with those from Clark to increase traffic at Bacolod-Silay airport.
But the airlines refused, pointing out that Manila is even more viable for them, he said.
Based on the proposed resumption of travel, Clark’s flights to Bacolod may depart between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. while the Bacolod flight to Clark may depart in the early afternoon.
Diaz said airlines can operate three flights depending on which day they choose, adding that resuming the Clark-Bacolod-Clark route would provide another option and make travel for the Negrens easier, more comfortable and cheaper.
Meanwhile, the provincial administrator has revealed he does not approve of former Congressman John Orola’s Safe, Fast and Smart Pass (S-Pass) request for allegedly using a fake address.
Orola, he said, used Silay City Airport as a barangay.
“They are setting traps for the province,” Diaz said, adding that Orola was from Manila and had used Silay Airport as a destination.
The former congressman could not be reached for comment at the time of posting.