Philippines allows additional flights from Qatar


By Louella Desiderio | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines -  The Philippines and Qatar have agreed to increase the number of flights between Manila and Doha per week by allowing Qatar Airways to mount more flights on the route, provided it would also start operating flights from Davao.

Civil Aeronautics Board executive director Carmelo Arcilla said in a text message yesterday the new memorandum of understanding (MOU) on air services was signed by Transport Undersecretary Manuel Antonio Tamayo and Qatar Civil Aviation Authority chairman Abdullah Al Subaey.

The new MOU amends the previous agreement signed by the two countries on May 28, 2015.

Under the new MOU, the two countries agreed to increase the maximum number of flights to 18 per week from 14.

In particular, it allows Qatar Airways to have four additional flights on the Manila to Doha route.

Qatar Airways currently has 14 flights per week to Manila and seven flights per week to Clark, while national carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has four flights on the Manila to Doha route.
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“The new MOU is a landmark agreement because it includes as a condition to the operation of the additional four flights to Manila by Qatar Airways, that it likewise operate between Doha and Davao within one year from commencement of the four additional flights to Manila,” Arcilla said.

Qatar Airways is expected to begin the four additional flights to Manila by October this year or March next year.

“It is perceived that the expansion of the traffic rights between the Philippines and Qatar under the new MOU will enhance the connectivity between the two countries that will enable the further expansion of trade, investment, services and people to people exchange between the two countries,” Arcilla said.

The inclusion of Davao in the route of Qatar Airways is also expected to promote connectivity between the city and other points in the world.

Earlier, PAL said it is against the grant of additional traffic rights on the Manila to Doha route citing overcapacity.

Due to oversupply of seats, budget carrier Cebu Pacific has said earlier, it would suspend flights to Doha starting July.