Cebu Pacific launches maiden flight to Doha

Rappler.com
Cebu Pacific launches maiden flight to Doha
The budget carrier becomes the first Philippine carrier to fly to Qatar’s capital

MANILA, Philippines – Cebu Pacific has launched its twice weekly, non-stop flights between Manila and Doha, the capital of Qatar, on Thursday, June 4, making it the first Philippine carrier to land in that destination.

The pioneering budget carrier announced as early as 2013 that it would start flying to Doha in early 2014. (READ: Cebu Pacific to fly to Doha in 2014)

The non-stop service departs Manila every Monday and Thursday at 9:35 pm, arriving in Doha at 2:45 am the following day (7:45 am Manila time).

The return flight departs Doha every Tuesday and Friday at 4:15 am and arrives in Manila at 6:35 pm.

The new route utilizes Cebu Pacific’s brand-new Airbus A330-300 aircraft, with a configuration of 436 all-economy class seats. Hot meals, seats, with extra legroom and WiFi onboard, among others, are options that can be added to the fare.

“With our expanding network, Qatar becomes more accessible from the Philippines, and the Filipino community can reunite with their families more often,” said Alex Reyes, Cebu Pacific general manager for long-haul division.

Cebu Pacific said that lowest year-round fares between Manila and Doha start at P9,488 ($211.11), approximately 60% lower than other airlines.

Beneficial

Qatar has the third largest Filipino community in the Middle East.

Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Wilfredo C. Santos said that Cebu Pacific’s presence in Qatar will not only benefit more than 200,000 Filipinos, but also  Qataris and the country’s flourishing expat population who will now be more enticed to visit the Philippines with the affordable fares.

“We are hoping to tap Cebu Pacific as the embassy’s partner in promoting  Philippine tourism in Qatar,” Santos said.

Hamad International Airport Chief Operating Officer Badr Mohammed Al Meer said they are pleased to have one more airline added to its operations.

“As the gateway into Qatar and to the rest of the world, we are glad to have the opportunity to facilitate easy and convenient passage to the Philippines,” he concluded.

Cebu Pacific already serves two other key markets for global Filipinos: United Arab Emirates via direct flights to Dubai, and Saudi Arabia via Riyadh. It is also the only airline flying direct between Manila and Kuwait. The airline, however, cancelled its Manila-Damdam route barely 5 months since it started, citing poor load factor. – Rappler.com

$1 = P44.94

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