THE GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) have welcomed Qatar Airways with the re-launching of its direct service from Cebu to Doha, Qatar.
Starting July 24, 2020, the airline would have three weekly flights from Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to Hamad International Airport. The Cebu-Doha service will operate every Sunday, Tuesday and Friday with a Boeing 777-300 aircraft and a capacity of 42 business class seats and 312 economy class seats.
A water cannon salute welcomed the inaugural Doha flight that arrived at Cebu on July 24 at 4:45 p.m.
“Despite the challenges we have encountered at the start of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the relaunching of Qatar Airways’ Cebu-Doha route gives us hope to push forward and remain resilient through these tough times,” said MCIAA general manager and chief executive officer Steve Dicdican. “We want to help bring home our kababayans to their families and at the same time slowly jumpstart our economy.”
“The relaunching of the Doha service allows us to adhere to our commitment of offering more connectivity to the rest of the world,” said Andrew Acquuah-Harrison, GMCAC chief executive advisor, MCIA’s private operator. “This also shows that, despite the challenges of Covid-19, we continue to give passengers options to return to the Philippines or connect them to their destinations.”
“We are delighted to be launching a new direct service to Cebu, offering our passengers another gateway into the Philippines. Being the airline that has never stopped flying since Covid-19 hit, it has been Qatar Airways’ mission to take people home safely during the pandemic and we have helped more than two million people get home to their loved ones since February,” said Qatar Airways Group chief executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker in a statement.
Qatar Airways entered Cebu in 2003. It allowed greater accessibility for European tourists, as well as for overseas Filipino workers.
However, 10 years after, the airline halted its Cebu service on March 26, 2012. In 2016, Qatar Airways expressed its interest to come back to Cebu. (PR with KOC)