Qatar Airways will be upping the frequency of its flights to Manila this October from 14 weekly flights to 18, following the signing of a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the Philippines and Qatar.
The agreement reportedly comes with the condition that Qatar Airways also launch flights from Davao within a year from the launch of the four additional Manila flights, according to the government-operated Philippine News Agency. Details of such a service, notably its likely frequency, haven’t been clarified, but they would join Qatar Airways’ soon-to-be 18 weekly Manila flights as well as its daily flights to Clark.
The announcement of the Manila route frequency increase comes just over two months after Philippine Airlines began operating its own four-times-weekly service between Manila and Doha, which began on March 26 this year.
That said, the viability of this route is far from certain. Philippine low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific announced last week it would be cutting its own thrice-weekly Manila-Doha service at the beginning of July, along with other Middle-East routes to Riyadh and Kuwait.
Philippine Airlines, meanwhile, is also set to axe its Manila-Abu Dhabi service next month.
Prior to the discussions between the Philippines and Qatar, PAL president Jaime J Bautista said there was no need for additional flights to the Middle East, citing “overcapacity”, according to Businessworld Online.
Qatar Airways currently flies its B777-300ER on its Manila route.