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Low-cost Philippine airline mulls flights to Doha

26 August 2013
Cebu Pacific Air (CEB), a  low-cost airline in the Philippines, is mulling flights to Doha, ambassador Crescente Relacion has said.

It is the second Philippine airline to announce plans to fly to Qatar after flag-carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL).

CEB officials and some dignitaries are expected to visit the country this week.

"They are  waiting for the approval of their visas," Relacion told Gulf Times.

"The team will be meeting government and aviation officials in Doha."

Considered as the largest carrier in the Philippines today, CEB is also one of the leading low-cost carriers in the Asian region.

The airline had earlier announced that it would start operating direct Manila-Dubai-Manila flights on October 7 this year. It will be the only Philippine airline to start direct flights to the UAE. Dubai will also be its first long-haul destination.

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In a press statement, CEB announced that its Manila-Dubai daily flights are scheduled at 4.40pm (Manila time) while its Dubai-Manila flights will depart at 11:10pm (Dubai time).

The airline has 20 international destinations:  Bangkok, Bali, Beijing, Brunei, Busan, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Incheon (Seoul), Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Osaka, Shanghai, Siem Reap, Singapore, Taipei and Xiamen.

Besides the Middle East, CEB also wants to fly to other regions like Australia, parts of Europe and the US.

"The interest of CEB to fly to Qatar is a welcome development and I hope that their talks with the Qatari Aviation authorities will produce positive results," said Relacion.

He added that the addition of CEB offers travellers, particularly OFWs, a wider choice.

PAL has already announced plans to fly daily to Doha starting November 2 in a bid to expand its network in the Middle East.

However, some airline industry  sources said that the flag-carrier had yet to secure necessary permits for its flights to Doha.

Quoting PAL representatives in Qatar, Relacion disclosed that the airline had already submitted all documents to Qatar Aviation authorities.

"They told me they are working hard to meet their target date of launching," he said.

PAL is expected to operate Manila-Doha-Manila flights six times a week.

© Gulf Times 2013

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