US delivery giant FedEx closed its Asian hub in the northern Philippines Friday with the last flight leaving for Taiwan just before dawn.
FedEx announced two years ago that it would relocate its Asian hub from the former US naval base at Subic Bay, north of Manila, to Guangzhou in southern China.
"Last night was the last night of full operations," said Subic Bay administrator Armand Arreza.
"The market in China is bigger than the entire market of Southeast Asia. China also gave FedEx rights to handle its domestic cargo, which is huge," Arreza said.
The FedEx hub, which began operations in 1996, earned the Subic Bay authority about 150 million pesos (3.2 million dollars) from landing fees and warehousing in 2008.
Company employees, speaking on condition of anonymity, said about 500 workers would lose their jobs. At the peak of its operations in 2004, the FedEx unit in Subic employed about 800 people.
At the time it was hoped that the FedEx move would lure foreign businesses to Subic and breathe new life into the area after the US closed its military bases in the Philippines in 1992.