THE Davao business sector welcomes the resumption of Qatar Airways’ Doha to Davao flights on April 1.

Davao is among the 11 destinations that the airline giant will resume service to by April this year. The other 10 are Beijing, Birmingham, Buenos Aires, Casablanca, Marrakesh, Nice, Osaka, Phnom Penh, Ras Al-Khaimah, and Tokyo-Haneda.

“We are excited to offer more ways of bringing the world together, increasing connectivity, and bridging gaps within the travel industry,” Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways CEO, said during the ITB Berlin on March 7, 2023. ITB Berlin is considered the “world’s largest tourism trade fair” and is an annual event in Berlin, Germany.

“As we expand our fleet, network, partnerships, and international presence, we look forward to working together to deliver sustainable growth and a compelling future for the industry,” Al Baker added.

The Doha-Davao-Doha flight will be every Saturday and served by the Boeing 787-8. It will be a triangular route that will have a stopover in Cebu City.

Flight QR936 departs from Hamad International Airport in Doha at 1:45 a.m. local time and will arrive in Davao City at 7:10 p.m. local time. It will have a 1 hour and 30-minute stopover in Cebu before proceeding to Davao City. Total flight time is estimated at 12 hours and 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, the return flight to Qatar departs from the Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport) at 8:40 p.m. local time and arrives at Doha the following day at 2:05 a.m. The estimated travel time is at 10 hours and 25 minutes and will be a non-stop flight.

Qatar Airways launched the Doha-Davao-Doha route in 209 but suspended it in 2020 due to Covid-19.

At present, the only international route serving Davao right now is Singapore-Davao-Singapore, which is being operated by Singapore Airlines, Scoot, and Cebu Pacific.

Prior to the pandemic, Davao’s other international air linkages were Hongkong served by the defunct Cathay Dragon; Jinjiang, China served by Xiamen Airways; and Manado, Indonesia served by Garuda Indonesia.

John Carlo Tria, the president of Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Incorporated (DCCCII) said the eventual resumption of direct flights will be good for businesses and the region’s economy.

“It will actually allow more direct flights to enter Davao, and I think it’s always good (for businesses) because many businesses would rather fly directly rather than connect to NAIA [Ninoy Aquino International Airport],” Tria said. ICE