Philippine Airlines plans 30-50 mln usd hub at former US airbase

Manila (XFN-ASIA) - Flag carrier Philippine Airlines Inc (PAL)

plans to build a hub costing 30-50 mln usd at Clark Field, a former US Air Force

base north of here, PAL president Jaime Bautista said.

"Clark will become a premier airport in the country in the next 5-7 years. PAL will be part of the development in Clark," Bautista told reporters.

He said PAL would initially lease a 30-hectare site at Clark for 25 years and might eventually expand the area of its hub there to 50 hectares.

PAL may tap a combination of loans and internal cash to fund the project, Bautista said.

He said PAL had been in talks with Clark International Airport Corp for two years now because the airline was seeking to decongest its terminal at Manila international airport.

Last week a rival of PAL, Cebu Pacific Air Inc, a unit of publicly-listed JG Summit Holdings Inc, said it was also considering using Clark as a hub for its East Asian routes.

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