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Qatar Airways lands in Davao

Aviation Updates Philippines – The 2019 World's Best Airline by Skytrax, Qatar Airways, sent off its inaugural flight to Davao, Philippines from Doha, Qatar on-board the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on Tuesday.
DOHA CONNECTION. With the launch of this new route, Davao will now be connected to Qatar Airways' extensive route network across the globe. Photo by Dirk Salcedo – PPSG/DVO.
Flight QR-936 departed Hamad International Airport at around 3:26am (UTC+3) and landed a little late at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport at 5:59pm (UTC+8) after flying for 9 hours and 33 minutes.

The inaugural flight was welcomed with a ceremonial water canon salute upon arrival in Davao. The arriving passengers and executives from the airline were also welcomed by tourism and airport officials in Davao City.

On-board the inaugural flight were the Ambassador of the Philippines to the State of Qatar Alan Timbayan and Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Asia Pacific Marwan Koleilat.

Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker said: “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.”

Services to Davao are being offered once-weekly every Friday. The direct flight is a triangular route which flies from Doha to Davao via Clark.

The Boeing 787 service departs Doha at 2:45am (UTC+3) and arrives Clark at 5:25pm (UTC+8). QR-936 will proceed to Davao and arrive eventually at 8:50pm (UTC+8). After a 1 hour and 30-minute technical stop, it departs for Doha at 10:20pm (UTC+8).

“Conversely, this new non-stop once weekly Doha-Davao flight by Qatar Airways brings to fore Mindanao's viability as an investment and tourism destination,” Mindanao Development Authority Deputy Executive Director Romeo Montenegro said during the inaugural festivities at the terminal.

Qatar Airways' Doha-Davao link is the first and only international long-haul flight operating from Mindanao's capital. This new connection will have a very positive effect in stimulating tourism in the region as well as offering a more convenient option for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).

The direct flight was made possible because of the air pact signed in 2017 between the Philippine government panel and the airline “which allows Qatar Airways to increase frequencies in Manila, but, in return, should launch a new service to any point in the country.”

During the announcement of this new route at the ITB Berlin, the world’s largest international travel and tourism trade show, the airline's chief executive emphasized that Davao will temporarily be served once-weekly since the Doha-based airline was 'lacking aircraft resulting to limited operations.' However, Mr. Al Akbar Baker assured that flights will be added once market conditions improve.

With reports from SunStar Davao and Aviation Updates Philippines.

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