Cebu Pacific to Fly to Doha, Qatar

GMA News is reporting that Cebu Pacific will be launching new flights to Doha, Qatar in February 2014 as part of the airline's efforts to build a budget long-haul operation servicing overseas Filipinos.

cebu pacific qatar
Copyright Photo: ALAMY/The Telegraph (UK)
Currently, Cebu Pacific has filed an application with the Civil Aeronautics Board and is seeking its approval to launch the Manila-Doha service. The flight will be operated by Cebu Pacific's brand new 436-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft three times per week. Flights will operate every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Philippine Airlines is set to launch its own Manila to Doha service on November 1, 2013 with six weekly flights. Qatar Airways will be launching its own flight from Clark to Doha on October 28, 2013. But that shouldn't be a concern to Cebu Pacific. Lance Gokongwei, CEO of Cebu Pacific stated that the carrier will only service routes if it can provide a cost differential to passengers that is at least 30% better than competing carriers. That means overseas foreign workers in Qatar can expect a significant reduction in airfare in the near future.

A large portion of the country's overseas foreign workers are based in the Middle East. Cebu Pacific will be launching its first long-haul service from Manila to Dubai, United Arab Emirates on October 7, 2013.

Cebu Pacific's long haul flights will be operated with the same a-la-carte service that passengers have come to know aboard domestic and regional services. While airfares will be significantly lower than competing carriers, additional charges will apply for seat selection, baggage, and meals. Cebu Pacific is also planning to add on-board wireless internet for an additional fee.

Cebu Pacific is currently in the process of expanding its fleet to 55 aircraft by 2015.  The first Airbus A330-300 aircraft is due to arrive next month and will be deployed on regional services to Singapore and Seoul in July.

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