Cebu Pacific Launches Doha Flights

Budget carrier Cebu Pacific launched its non-stop flights from Manila to Doha on June 4. The new flights make Cebu Pacific the first Philippine carrier to land in the capital of Qatar. The carrier first announced its intention to fly to Doha in 2013. 

Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
Cebu Pacific launched its Doha service with two weekly flights on board its 436-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft. Flights depart Manila every Monday and Thursday night at 9:35pm. Each flight arrives in Doha at 2:45am the following day before departing Doha on Tuesday and Friday at 4:15am to return to Manila. Flights arrive back in the Philippines at 6:35pm.

The new flights are only offered with economy-class seats. Passengers are required to pay extra for additional legroom, wireless internet, checked baggage, seat selection, and hot meals. However, Cebu Pacific says that the lowest year-round fares being offered by the carrier on the Doha route are already 60 percent lower than competing carriers. 

With the third largest Filipino community located in the Middle East, Qatar is a natural fit for Cebu Pacific, who will be able to offer the 200,000 overseas Filipinos in the country competitive fares that will enable them to travel home more frequently. 

"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 of Cebu Pacific's Long-Haul Division.

The budget carrier may also be able to draw on the rising expatriate population in Qatar that are looking for a tropical holiday destination. According to the Philippine Ambassador to Qatar, Wilfredo Santos, the embassy hopes to utilize Cebu Pacific's new flights to promote tourism to the Philippines in Qatar.

Doha becomes Cebu Pacific's fifth long-haul route and fourth route to the Middle East. As no Philippine carriers have previously served Qatar, it remains to be seen if Cebu Pacific if Doha will become a challenge for the carrier given the smaller population of Filipinos compared to neighbouring nations such as Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.

The risk taken by the airline in serving Qatar is minimal as it is beginning with only two weekly flights. In the past, the carrier had launched new routes with at least three weekly flights. But Cebu Pacific seems to believe that the Qatar market will be much easier to predict than its past endeavours in the Middle East. 

Philippine Airlines previously planned to launch flights to Doha in November 2013. The national flag carrier was going to operate flights six times weekly with an Airbus A330-300. However, the carrier quietly shelved its plans without providing any reason.

Cebu Pacific will only need to compete directlye\sd against Qatar Airways, which reduced capacity on the route in late 2013. It currently operates a daily flight to Clark International Airport and eight weekly flights between Doha and Manila. The recent renegotiation of the Qatar-Philippines Air Services Agreement enables Qatar Airways to launch a second daily flight between Manila and Doha. However, it remains unclear whether it will continue operating from Clark International Airport

The budget carrier recently accepted delivery of its sixth widebody Airbus A330 aircraft in March. It currently operates flights from Manila to Dubai, Kuwait, Riyadh, and Sydney. The carrier is presently seeking additional traffic rights to the United Arab Emirates, where it wishes to launch a direct flight to Sharjah. This will enable passengers to connect to low-cost carrier partners serving other destinations in the Middle East. 

Cebu Pacific previously operated service to Dammam before cancelling the route just five months after it launched due to poor load factors. It is believed that Honolulu, Hawaii and Melbourne, Australia will become Cebu Pacific's next long-haul destinations.

24 comments:

  1. Oh please. Yellow tin can sardine of an airline stills want to expand on long-haul routes? Yup. I predict this route will fail in 2 Years give or take. Why would any one fly with this airline with cramped seats along with terrible customer service?

    #CebuPathetic

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  2. Mr. Hongkong, Filipinos (like you) in Qatar are still loyal to their state airline. You can curse more or go burn Cebu Pacific's Manila headquarters and this airline continues to be resilient from "despisers" and "loudmouths" like you. We hope to see you in your Kuli Kuli neighborhood!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You still think i am a Filipino. Really now? If the so called Filipinos are loyal to their state airline, why are they always badmouthing Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines? Explain yourself Kuli Kuli punk.

      Delete
  3. Reaching new heights. Go Cebu Pacific

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  4. Whatever you say, whatever you do, Cebu Pacific is here to stay. You can curse Cebu Pac (or Philippine Airlines) but let me tell you one thing: SUCK IT UP!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are a Happy Pinoy? OKAY BITCH. Instead of cursing at Cebu Pacific, i want to curse at you biatch. No longer you are a Happy Pinoy. You are a sad pinoy.

    LIT ANG TITI MO ASS HOLE

    ReplyDelete
  6. You claim that you are a businessman and your demeanor is that of "uneducated impolite nonsense brat" , therefore, you are totally crazy. Why do you waste your time cursing Cebu Pacific anyway?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can assure you my boy that i am a businessman. I will not reveal where i work because you punks will jump on my ass. Not worth my time to tell you, but let's just say. I have assets in your country, London, New York, Tokyo, Taipei, and of course HONG KONG.

      Funny, you say i am cursing Cebu Pacific. Where in this specific article do you see me cursing at Cebu Pacific? I don't consider it a "waste" of time. As a matter of fact, my experiences with this Airline gives me nightmares. I can't stop thinking about it.

      Delete
  7. Mr Hong Kong, you are clearly not who you claim to be. Your grammar and your continual derogatory comments about Cebu Pacific show you to be of below average intelligence.

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    1. How so? This is the same Mr. Hong Kong that you know and love since i started commenting on this site. Perhaps because of my jet lag from Hong Kong to London is why my grammar is bad?

      If i am "below average intelligence" how would i be typing this comment to you?

      Delete
  8. Mr Hong Kong, Jet lag- a poor excuse. If you are intelligent correct the grammar in your statement above.

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    1. Why should i? Perhaps you should go back to school to learn English?

      Delete
  9. Hello Mr Hong Kong. You call me a punk.I doubt you know the definition of the meaning of the word "punk".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, i called you a PUNK. Why? Is that bothering you that much Kuli Kuli punk?

      Delete
  10. Mr Hong Kong, your lack of intelligence astounds me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One does not simply write a comment on this site with the lack of intelligence.

      Delete
  11. Your English grammar is a real Pinoy grammar, I am sorry to say that I am a Filipino too, and I can easily detect who is lying or not, Mr. Hong Kong! You know the saying that "a fish is caught from its dirty mouth"? Understand?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This Filipino Magician still thinks i am one of your people. You know the saying "shut the fuck up"? Understand?

      Delete
  12. Mr Hong Kong, It is you who should go back to school and learn English, not I, as is evident by your poorly worded and sometimes nonsensical comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure thing. Mr. Badass forgets how to put a period after mister. Are you sure that i need to go to back to school and learn English? It seems like YOU need to go back.

      Delete
  13. Mr Hong Kong, the use of periods following abbreviations was abolished from written English many decades ago.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Mr Hong Kong, you will never convince me, and I suspect many other bloggers on this site, that you possess average intelligence. Just reread your blog posted at 9:08 PM today and ask your self, '"is this the language an intelligent person would use"?.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Go check your daily cash flow, deposits, payables, payroll, income statement, etc..... Mr. Hong Kong, how can you continue badmouthing Pinoys when you should be very busy with your "monkey business"? OMG, you are bankrupt now!

    ReplyDelete
  16. If most of the traffic that goes to Doha connects to other points, how can Cebu Pacific make this route viable with only PH<=>Doha passengers?

    ReplyDelete

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