Qatar Airways launches flights to Cebu, the Philippines


Cebu joins Brisbane and Toronto as new destinations launched by the airline during this crisis

Cebu services will start on 24 July with three weekly flights while the airline will also resume its first China flights with a once-weekly Guangzhou service starting 26 July

Qatar Airways continues to show its resilience, launching another new destination during this crisis with Cebu, the Philippines, joining Brisbane, Australia and Toronto, Canada as new destinations to join the airline’s global network in the past few months. The national carrier of the State of Qatar will also resume its first China flights, with a once-weekly Guangzhou service. The airline’s mix of modern fuel-efficient aircraft has meant its network has never fallen below 30 destinations throughout this crisis and has enabled the airline to adapt its plans and continue adding new routes.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr Akbar Al Baker said: “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.

“The resumption of Guangzhou passenger services is one of the significant steps taken by Qatar Airways to demonstrate our confidence in the gradual recovery of the regional travel market and global connectivity. Since the COVID-19 crisis started, we have challenged ourselves to be at the forefront and combat the effects of this global pandemic, by volunteering our services to deliver worldwide medical supplies coordinated by Chinese Embassies and Consulates. 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.

“In addition to scheduled freighter services, we have also operated a large number of charters and freight-only passenger aircraft to meet China’s surging demand for imports and exports. With the resumption of passenger flights, we will have 49 flights in total, comprising of passenger freighters, belly-hold cargo flights and freighters in and out of Mainland China each week, providing more than 2,500 tonnes of weekly cargo capacity each way.”

Qatar Airways continues to lead the recovery of international air travel. By the end of July, the airline’s network will expand to over 450 weekly flights to more than 70 destinations with the additions of Cebu (three weekly flights starting 24 July) and Guangzhou (once weekly flight starting 26 July). The national carrier of the State of Qatar last operated flights to Cebu in March 2012. The relaunching of flights to Cebu will see the airline’s network in the Philippines expand to 13 weekly flights:

Manila (nine weekly flights)
Clark (one weekly flight)
Cebu (three weekly flights)

Cebu is the second-largest city in the Philippines and it is an important economic and trading hub along with being a popular tourist destination famous for its white sand beaches, turquoise waterfalls and world-renowned diving spots. Cebu joins Bali, the Maldives, Tunis and Zanzibar as some of the popular year-round holiday destinations, Qatar Airways has resumed services to in the past few weeks.

Qatar Airways operations are not dependent on any specific aircraft type. The airline’s variety of modern fuel-efficient aircraft has meant it can continue flying by offering the right capacity in each market. Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline has taken the decision to ground its fleet of Airbus A380s as it is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in the current market. The airline’s fleet of 49 Airbus A350 and 30 Boeing 787 are the ideal choice for the most strategically important long-haul routes to the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions.


  1. Cebu is one piece of the airline industry puzzle. There is no potential including an A380 in its fleet. What is interest is how it will refine its fleet dichotomy with airplane types i.e. 787 or A350 types. It has already 49 A-350 and 30 787 in its fleet makeup. If Boeing sells more 787 to Qatar it may be a type balancing act where it levers Boeing for a less expensive aircraft from the 787 family. The winner of this Pandemic is the 787-8, 777 8X and 777-9X at the expense of retired 747, A-380 and balance fleet size with the A-350 type as the example of 49. Qantas may order 20 more Boeing airplanes in various types as part of the fleet balancing meeting a fifty-fifty goal by manufacturer goals for the airline company. I could see Qantas ordering 5 787-8’s, 5 other 787’s types, and 5 777-8X and finally 5 777- 9X’s.


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