As we all know, the travel industry has been greatly affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic but we remain hopeful that all this will pass and we can get back to traveling again soon. As we are slowly relaxing our quarantine restrictions and opening our doors to the outside world, several businesses had hit the restart/relaunch button.
Kicking it off, GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) together with Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) welcomed Qatar Airways with the relaunching of its direct service from Cebu to Doha, Qatar.
“Despite the challenges we have encountered at the start of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the relaunching of Qatar Airways’ Cebu-Doha route gives us hope to push forward and remain resilient through these tough times,” said Atty. Steve Dicdican, MCIAA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer. “We want to help bring home our kababayans to their families and at the same time slowly jumpstart our economy.”
Starting July 24, 2020, Qatar Airways will have three weekly flights from Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to Hamad International Airport. This direct service will operate on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays with a Boeing 777-300 aircraft. The aircraft has a capacity of 42 business class seats and 312 economy class seats.
“The relaunching of the Doha service allows us to adhere to our commitment of offering more connectivity to the rest of the world,” said Andrew Acquuah-Harrison, GMCAC Chief Executive Advisor, MCIA’s private operator. “This also shows that, despite the challenges of COVID-19, we continue to give passengers options to return to the Philippines or connect them to their destinations.”
Last Friday, July 24, at 4:45 PM, a water cannon salute was done to welcome the inaugural Doha flight that arrived at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
“We are delighted to be launching a new direct service to Cebu, offering our passengers another gateway into the Philippines. Being the airline that has never stopped flying since COVID-19 hit, it has been Qatar Airways’ mission to take people home safely during the pandemic, and we have helped more than two million people get home to their loved ones since February,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker in a statement. “With over 40 onward available connections to Africa, Europe and the Middle East, passengers from Cebu and Guangzhou will be able to enjoy the Best Airline in the World and the World’s Best Business Class Seat while also having access to the largest and broadest network in the region via Hamad International Airport, the Best Airport in the Middle East.”
Since some international flights have resumed, all we can do now is to remain vigilant, to follow strict health protocols so we can protect ourselves and others, and to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
If you know someone or if you are planning to go back to the Philippines or pass thru the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, know that there are protocols that need to be observed and followed.
Passengers are strongly advised to continuously monitor the status of their flights and ensure that they have the necessary documents in compliance with the regulations of the local government of their point of origin and destination.