OVERSEAS Filipino Workers and travelers will now have an accessible option going to the Middle East after an official from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) confirmed on Monday, May 20, that Qatar Airways is set to inaugurate its flights between Doha, Qatar and Davao City in June this year.
During the ITB Berlin in March in Berlin, Germany, it was announced by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker that the airline will be launching flights to Davao City, which was among the seven new destinations the airline announced that it will be launching flights this year. The other six destinations are Lisbon, Portugal; Malta; Rabat, Morocco; Langkawi, Malaysia; Izmir, Turkey; and Mogadishu, Somalia.
Francisco Bangoy International Airport manager Rex Obcena, in an interview during the inaugural launch of Royal Air's Cebu-Davao route yesterday, said it is "all systems go" for the Doha-Davao flight.
Obcena said the airline will be operating the Doha-Davao route once a week, every Friday. The outbound flight from Davao City will be an evening flight.
Travelers can now book flights between Davao and Doha on the Qatar Airways website.
According to the booking page on its website, the flight to Davao from Doha departs at 2:45 a.m. Travel duration is clocked at 13 hours and five minutes. While it states on their website that it is a non-stop flight, Obcena said the flight to Davao City will have a stopover at the Clark International Airport in Clark, Pampanga.
Meanwhile, the flight from Davao City to Doha departs 10:20 p.m. Travel duration is clocked at nine hours and 55 minutes. Obcena said the flight from Davao to Doha will be a direct flight.
The airline will be operating a Boeing 787-8 for its Doha-Davao route. According to seatguru.com, the airline's Boeing 787-8 has 22 business class seats in a 1-2-1 seating configuration and 232 economy seats in 3-3-3 configuration.
Obcena said the airport has the capacity to cater to the Boeing 787-8. He said they have met with the Qatar Airways team and all technical details have already been accounted for.
"The new Davao-Doha flights is a great welcome for Davao City. more international connectivity builds an impression that Davao City is ready to welcome tourists and investments on a more global scale. This will also make it easier for potential investors from other areas to gain access to and visit Davao City, where it would have been difficult before," Lemuel Ortonio, Davao City Investment Promotions Center, said.