The first Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Davao, the Philippines, touched down Tuesday at Davao International Airport, where it was welcomed with a celebratory water cannon salute.
Qatar Airways flight QR936 departed Hamad International Airport (HIA) at 2.45am Tuesday and landed in Davao at 5.20pm local time, the airline said in a press statement.
The ambassador of the Philippines to Qatar, Alan Timbayan, was joined by Qatar Airways senior vice-president (Asia Pacific) Marwan Koleilat on board Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight to Davao.
Officials mark the commencement of the new service
Qatar Airways Group chief executive HE Akbar al-Baker said, “Qatar Airways is very proud to extend its reach into the Philippines by launching our third gateway into this beautiful country. The inclusion of Davao into our global network further demonstrates our commitment to the Far East region, a highly important market for Qatar Airways.
"With 50 weekly passenger flights to and from the Philippines, we take great pride in our role of enabling trade and connecting international businesses.”
Commenting on the new route launch, Davao International Airport manager Rex A Obcena said: “Davao International Airport is the main airport serving Davao City and Davao Region in the Philippines. It is the busiest airport on the island of Mindanao and one of the busiest in the Philippines. We look forward to welcoming all passengers on Qatar Airways’ weekly return flights.”
With numerous beaches and resorts, Davao City, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, is a coastal commercial centre near Mount Apo, the country’s highest peak. Davao City is the largest city outside of Manila and the fourth largest in the Philippines in terms of population, with more than 1.4mn residents.
The airline will operate its Davao service once a week with a Boeing 787-8 aircraft, featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class. Passengers will be able to enjoy the airline’s entertainment system, Oryx One, offering a wide variety of entertainment options, the statement notes.
The Philippines is an important air freight market for Qatar Airways, with the carrier’s cargo arm offering a weekly capacity of 350 tonnes each way on the Doha-Manila-Doha route and 70 tonnes on the Doha-Clark-Doha route.
With the introduction of flights from Doha to Davao on the Doha-Clark-Davao-Doha route effective on Tuesday, exporters in Davao will be offered direct connection to destinations in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas via Doha, the statement adds.
Qatar Airways currently operates a fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, HIA, to more than 160 destinations worldwide. In addition to its service to Davao, Qatar Airways has launched an array of new destinations recently, including Mombasa, Kenya; Izmir, Turkey; and Malta, to name a few.
The airline will add a number of new destinations to its extensive route network in the second half of 2019, including Lisbon, Portugal; Mogadishu, Somalia; and Langkawi, Malaysia.