Philippine low-cost carrier ZestAir will start a new daily flight between Clark International Airport, an hour’s drive from central Manila, and Seoul Incheon starting October 27, according to Airlineroute.net.
The airline already flies between Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Seoul, but it may be launching this second flight because of Clark area’s growing economic importance. Previously an American military airbase, Clark has been converted into a special economic zone, aiming to attract international investment.
Several other low-cost carriers have also opted to make the Clark International Airport a hub (see story here).
ZestAir’s new flight will leave Clark at 2355 and land in the South Korean capital the next morning at 0450, with the return leg leaving Incheon at 2010 to land back in Clark at 2305. It will use an A320 aircraft.
The airline has been expanding its regional routes rapidly over the past two years, most recently adding flights from Manila to the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Quanzhou. It has also stated plans to launch a flight from Manila to Kuala Lumpur before the end of this year.
ZestAir’s growth is reflective of the ample business opportunities for almost all of the Asian region’s low-cost carriers (LLCs). Offering budget fares between different regional destinations, these airlines are capturing increased travel demand from Asia’s growing middle class. Many LCCs are fast expanding their routes (see story here) and the region has seen a rising number of new LCCs emerging over the past few years (see story here).