Qatar Airways asked to reconsider decision to suspend Doha-Cebu flights
CEBU CITY—The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) has asked Qatar Airways to reconsider its decision to suspend flights to Cebu starting April this year.
In his letter to Qatar Airways’ Cebu commercial manager Mohammed El Emam, CCCI president Samuel L. Chioson said the decision of Qatar Airways to pull out would have adverse effects on the local economy.
He said Qatar Airways’ Doha-Cebu service, which started in 2003, had helped increase investments and tourist arrivals in Cebu.
“We understand the factors that triggered Qatar Airways to suspend its flights to our island, but we are in dire need of the services of your airways to connect us directly to and from [the Middle East],” Chioson said.
He said travelers, including Filipinos working in the Gulf States, had taken advantage of the only direct flight between Cebu and the Middle East.
The inaugural Doha-Cebu flight of Qatar Airways landed at Mactan Cebu International Airport on Dec. 11, 2003. The airline served the route three times weekly.
CCCI and its sectoral organization members—Hotel and Restaurants Associations in Cebu (HRRAC), Cebu Tourism Association, Philippine Retailers in Cebu and Philippine Association of Real Estate Brokers in Cebu—have recognized Qatar Airways’ contribution to Cebu’s development into a business and tourism hub in the country and in Asia-Pacific, Chioson said.
Qatar Airways earlier announced its decision to stop serving the Cebu-Doha route due to “commercial reasons.”
Business leaders here cited high fuel prices and operating expenses as among the possible reasons for the decision of Qatar Airways to stop the Cebu flights.
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