Emirates Cancels Clark Route

Emirates will be cancelling its route between Clark International Airport and Dubai beginning on May 1, 2014 just 7 months after the route was launched at the start of October 2013.

emirates manila
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
The route was launched with much fanfare as the first long haul route to be operated out of a Philippine gateway other than Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. But stiff competition and new capacity from Philippine Airlines, PAL Express, and Cebu Pacific undercut any hopes of the route's survival.

“Emirates can confirm that it is suspending its daily, non-stop service between Clark International Airport and Dubai from May 1, 2014. The decision was made after a review of the airline’s operations to ensure the best utilisation of its aircraft fleet for its overall business objectives,” a spokesperson for Emirates reported. “Emirates will continue to operate its three daily, non-stop flights between Manila and Dubai and is taking all necessary steps to accommodate affected passengers on alternate flights."

Earlier this year, the Centre for Aviation published a report indicating that the United Arab Emirates-Philippines market was suffering from overcapacity. In the report, it was stated that capacity reductions are inevitable after 24 weekly non-stop flights were added between the two countries in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Fares dropped to record low levels as the three Philippine carriers dumped capacity into the market while struggling to fill their new A330 aircraft. The Centre for Aviation warned that load factors could only be sustainable during peak periods and that if capacity was not reduced for the rest of the year, losses were likely for all carriers.

Although considerable traffic exists between the two nations, yields are typically low with seasonal fluctuations. All Philippine carriers virtually entered the market at the same time which ultimately undercut Emirates as well. Emirates was already serving Manila with three daily flights when it added a fourth to Clark using a Boeing 777-300ER.

While Emirates had an advantage over Philippine carriers of being able to backfill flights with connecting passengers bound for other parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, it was unlikely that the airline would not be impacted in any way by the new capacity added by the three Philippine carriers. By the end of October 2013, Emirates was already flying double the capacity it had to the Philippines in 2012 on top of the capacity added by Philippine carriers.

It was widely believed at the time that Etihad would follow suit with service between Clark and Abu Dhabi after Qatar revealed that it would launch a daily service between Clark and Doha on October 28, 2013. However, Etihad wisely chose to maintain its existing two daily flights to Manila with no increases in capacity. Etihad has not boosted capacity to the Philippines since it introduced its second daily flight to Manila in November 2011.

Cebu Pacific, PAL Express, and Philippine Airlines have all had the advantage of offering domestic connections to passengers but that has not spared any of them from the challenging market conditions. Cebu Pacific was forced to scale back service in January and February 2014 down to five weekly flights from its previous schedule of daily flights as it learned to adapt to the seasonal fluctuations of the market. However, the carrier increased frequency back to six weekly flights for March with a plan of restoring daily flights in preparation for Easter. Meanwhile, PAL Express recently announced that it will be increasing its flights to Dubai at the end of March up to six weekly flights using its Airbus A330 aircraft.

The last Emirates flight to Clark will depart on May 3, 2014 served by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. For the month of April, the airline will continue to operate a daily schedule as follows:

EK338 DXB0400 – 1620CRK 77W D
EK339 CRK1800 – 2305DXB 77W D

53 comments:

  1. sayang, maaari pa namang maging future airbus a380 destination ng emirates ang clark. it is free to use airbus a380 on clark international airport na hindi tulad ng naia na limitado lang. dalawa lang ang gate ng terminal 1 (ng naia) ang may kakayahang makahawak ng a380. sa naia 2 at 3 naman ay hindi pwede dahil masyadong malapad ang pakpak ng a380 para makagamit ng terminal 2 at 3 at sakop ang katabing gate, pero maaari pa ang boeing 747-8i.

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    1. English please

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    2. Meron ba?anong gate sa t1 ang pwede mag accomodate nang A380 flight?

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    3. as far as i know, the aircraft A380 can park through all bays except gate 1,2,3 &16 but the problem is the boarding gates it cannot accomodate all the approx. 800 pax for the A380 flights. :)

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    4. I am not surprised about that... if they had chosen Cebu instead of clark surely Emirates could fill 1 daily flight considering the fact that almost one third of their manila passangers connecting afterwards to Cebu. Furthermore Cebu is tourist destination number 1 in the philippines in contrast to Clark where only few tourists going to...

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    5. Emirates' a380s have a capacity of 500+ passengers not 800 because they're not configured as ALL ECONOMY. Just my 2 cents.

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    6. I heard from an Emirates employee that there is a safety problem with the runway at Clark which means that B777 300ER cannot land there! Qatar Airways is okay because it uses a smaller aircraft.

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  2. E anu ngaun kung hindi English? di nman para sayo yan.

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    1. tama! hahaha use google translate ungas na yan...

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    2. sabihin mo di ka lang marunong mag english!

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  3. This page is in English and English is an official language of the Philippines. So don't be stubborn and try to communicate with everybody, not just your barangay.

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    1. what are you bragging about? use google translate if you cant understand stupid fuckabish

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    2. meron EK 8338/8339 dxb/crk/dxb.. special flyt for May 2014

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    3. English is the official language of the philippine...when was it happen!? Naka rugby ka ba or shabu.bwahahaha

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    4. Excuse me.. but the official language of the philippines is TAGALOG/FILIPINO! English is the INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE.

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    5. To be precise, the national language of the Philippines is Filipino. However, the official languages are Filipino and English.

      Read More Here: http://www.ncca.gov.ph/about-culture-and-arts/articles-on-c-n-a/article.php?igm=3&i=217

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    6. Conyo ka pre?

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    7. English may be an "official " language in the Philippines, but go to the street and you will hear people speaking in local languages, not English

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    8. What I don't understand with my fellow Filipinos- why does it make a big fuss over English and Filipino language? If you can't understand English, politely ask for a translation you can understand or the other way around. What's the big deal about it? Yeah, go to the streets and you see people speaking in local language (Duh?!), how about you go outside the Philippines and see what language they universally use for those who don't know the 'local' language? Come on people- the world is not confined only in the Philippines- try going out of our beautiful islands and see how people who understand over topics of life not from a pathetic argument over Filipino or English react.

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    9. I agree. For sure may mga magrereact na mga tao but before reacting sa sinabi nya pwede ko itranslate para naman hindi nakakahiya. No wonder over populated ang Pilipinas- dumarami yung mga over nationalistic na nakakalimutan ang value ng salitang 'understanding at decency'

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  4. English pla ang official language ng Phil?

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  5. what about us who have booking after May 2014?? no notice was sent to us

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    Replies
    1. Emirates will be contacting you to reschedule your flight to one of their 3 services to Manila. If you do not hear from them soon, please contact Emirates customer care to rebook as soon as possible.

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  6. IS AN were the words used very different from IS THE. people from our country really needs to have good social values; hindi yung makapagreply lang na mski wala ng sense sulong pa din.

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  7. EK can divert Clark to Cebu to serve a direct flights to the people from the Visayas & Mindanao areas.

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  8. That's why Philippines is not getting better because of you guys. Mayabang na hindi pa marunong umintindi. Gusto lang naman maintindihan ng tao

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  9. ang tatapang nyo, mga anonymous naman. pilipino talaga.

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  10. Poor Clark Airport. Despite a lot of promotions, the flight didn't last long. The fact that the airport's pretty far from Manila, and that the facilities there aren't so good yet may have been a factor.

    I was hoping they could even bring the A380 there.... NAIA can handle the A380, they can just renovate Terminals 1 or 3 for that.

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    1. Clark can handle the A380 airbus and it was a former US military base. Clark was use for porting cargo and it can accommodate the new and biggest cargo plane of the military and the runway was built to handle the heaviest cargo plane landing on clark better than to NAIA

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    2. though Clark receives a lot of promotions from the Philippine Government, foreign airlines did not find CRK as profitable as MNL or even CEB or KLO due to less tourist and passengers using the airport as an alternative of NAIA.

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    3. NAIA is the worst airport! not to mention the supercalifragilisticespicaligocious traffic! uuugghh!

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  11. oh well back to Cathay Pacific. Dubai to Clark route via HK since going to Manila would cost you headache!

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    Replies
    1. gooodluck on trafficky NAIA huhuhu

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  12. It's not a viable route for EK as it flies on many empty seats. PH gov should try to shift some of its air traffic to Clark by improving infrastructure and transpo system to make it more attractive than Manila. I would actually prefer Clark than the latter which is way too crowded.

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  13. Philippines is not an A380 market. Even Cebu Pacific won't be able to fill even half of it. Let's talk business here, marketing to be exact. In segmenting the market, only the class A,B, and upper C can avail to fly. Even the lucrative MNL- SIN 5J flight won't be enough to sustain an a380.

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  14. i booked a flyt from march to june departure, how will it be if emirates will stop its operation on May?

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  15. Sad to learn that Emirates Airlines will be cancelling its route between Dubai and Clark. I was about to make a flight reservation from IAH to CRK when the system won't accept the flight date that I wanted. Still hoping that EK will re-establish its DXB-CRK operation. Less frequent flights would be better than totally cancelling its operation.

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  16. Stiff competition? I think the reason is flights going to and from CRK do not satisfy the company when it comes to number of passengers. I've flown in and out of CRK with the first class cabin empty. I hope they will reconsider the route in the future. :(

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  17. NakuCathay nanaman nito. Ilang oras nanaman mghihintay sa HKIA..

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    1. Experience:
      when i flew with cx, only had 1 hr layover at HKIA. had to run cuz we had customs and it was a big airport.

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  18. Let's face it. CRK is not a viable alternative gateway if it can't sustain long haul flights. CRK is just an ordinary int'l airport, just like the rest of int'l airports that we have (CEB, DVO, ILO, etc). The best alternative is still a brand new airport near MNL like Sangley (needs a major reconstruction & reclamation).

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    1. Me too. This flight lasts only for seven months due to intense competition of Philippines-UAE route. Well, that's the decision of Emirates anyway and there is no way to reconsider route return in the future. Accept it anyway.

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    2. Clark can handle the A380 airbus and it was a former US military base. Clark was use for porting cargo and it can accommodate the new and biggest cargo plane of the military and the runway was built to handle the heaviest cargo plane landing on clark better than to NAIA

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    3. Clark could sustain long-haul flights IF the government would get its act together and properly develop transport links between Metro Manila and Clark. After all, access to NAIA is bad and Terminal 1 is a disaster - even if improvements are made to it.
      But the bottom line to all of this is that Manila sorely needs an entirely new airport. The space at Manila International is too tight and the government has failed to provide decent connections to Clark, leaving everything in the hands of private companies. The Philippines lags way behind all of its neighbors in the region with even Vientiane and Phnom Penh boasting new terminals. It is a shame and it is a crime.

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  19. They didn't contact us. I contacted them, but they only rescheduled and change the destination to manila. From Manila to my hometown, i have to travel 4h+ instead only 1h. Damn..

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  20. There's an interesting article at www.airlinenewsphilippines.wordpress.com

    Editor: with your permission to post this please. Thanks.

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  21. The big problem for Clark is that the infrastructure to support it is not in place. There is no decent, fast connection with Metro Manila, in spite of so many promises by so many politicos. The road connection bogs down in Metro Manila, i.e. getting to and from the North Expressway. And the much vaunted rail connection remains only a dream.
    Without any serious effort on the government's part, Clark is doomed to be a second class airport, period.

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  23. I had to find out myself today.....that my flight in 4 days time doesnt excist anymore....... My booking agency didnt inform me. I am awaiting confirmation now if i will have a connecting flight to Manilla....AND, what compensation they propose. Afterall, i choose to fly to Clark for a reason.

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  24. i hope by popular demand DXB CRK would be back in business soon.

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