Low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific Air is to expand its activities in the Gulf region with the launch of direct flights between Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila and Hamad International Airport in Doha. It will be the only Philippine carrier to serve the market, a city pair already flown by Qatar Airways.
The carrier will offer a twice weekly service on the route from June 4, 2015, adding to its existing flights between Manila and Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Kuwait City, Kuwait and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Cebu Pacific also currently serves Dammam, Saudi Arabia, but that flight will terminate at the end of this month.
"We are excited to offer Cebu Pacific's trademark low fares to travellers in Doha, especially since we are the only low-cost carrier operating this route. 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, general manager for long-haul division, Cebu Pacific Air.
According to Philippine Overseas Employment Administration estimates from 2009, there are over 260,000 Filipinos in Qatar, the third-largest Filipino community in the Middle East behind UAE and Saudi Arabia. The new Qatar route will be flown with an Airbus A330-300 configured in an all-Economy, 436 seat arrangement.
"It is Cebu Pacific’s priority to maintain a strong presence in the region, where we are able to reach a large population of Filipino communities," added Reyes.