Macau Ban to PH Airlines Imminent


 March 31, 2012

Are foreign countries now apprehensive over the safety of Philippine air carriers in the light of another failed review by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) on the country’s adherence to international aviation safety standards?

This is the question now worrying many industry stakeholders after the Autoridade de Aviacao Civil, the civil aviation authority of the Macau SAR (Special Administrative Region), demanded from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) “information on safety oversight inspection of (Philippine) air operators,” specifically  Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific Air.

The request by Chan Weng Hong, president of the Macau civil aviation authority, to CAAP director general Ramon S. Gutierrez, dated February 29, came more than a month after the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) of the United States reported that the Philippines has again failed to address at least 23 specific “safety concerns” and eight “critical elements” in relation to international aviation safety standards being strictly adhered to by civil aviation authorities all over the world.

Since the country has been downgraded to “Category 2” by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2007 due to safety issues, it has consistently failed in its efforts to remove the tag that has resulted in the banning of all Philippine-based air carriers from entering Europe and the United States since 2009.

“I am writing to request your provision of the records and results of safety oversight inspections of the Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air for the previous year (2011),” reads the letter of Hong to Gutierrez.

“As (PAL and Cebu Pacific) operate scheduled flights to and from Macau, your report of recent inspections and (safety) findings in the last 6 months can assist our authority to evaluate the operating standards of the above operators,” Hong said.

Hong further noted that the request is in compliance with Macau’s own “safety assessment of foreign aircraft” (SAFA) that it uses for surveillance of operations in the Macau special administrative region by any foreign carrier.

He said the information is necessary so that civil aviation authorities in Macau can “take appropriate action when necessary to preserve safety.”

Philippines' AirAsia finally takes off

March 30, 2012

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga - With the promise of revolutionizing air travel for Filipinos, AirAsia Philippines, the newest entrant in the Philippine aviation market, finally took to the skies on Wednesday, March 28.

With no less than AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes leading the send-off party, the first AirAsia Philippines flight took off from Clark's Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) for Kalibo at 7 am.

This was followed by the first-ever flight from Clark to Davao, which departed at a little past 10 am and carried members of the press and government officials, led by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Clark International Airport Corp. chief Victor Jose Luciano.

READY TO FLY. AirAsia Philippines Flight PQ7001, bound for Kalibo, at the tarmac of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, minutes before its inaugural flight, March 28, 2012. Photo by KD SuarezREADY TO FLY. AirAsia Philippines Flight PQ7001, bound for Kalibo, at the tarmac of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, minutes before its inaugural flight, March 28, 2012. Photo by KD Suarez

"Weare here to revolutionize domestic and international air travel… our brand of air travel will be characterized by transparency, efficiency and high value service," said AirAsia CEO Marianne Hontiveros.

"Philippines' Air Asia maiden flights… will make air travel for Northern and Central Luzon passengers more convenient and comfortable. They can even be spared from the traffic of EDSA and the long queues of [Ninoy Aquino International Airport]," she said.

The new airline, the 6th carrier currently flying as a local carrier, promises it will be different from other low-cost-carriers in terms of service and travel experience.

Hontiveros cited as example how AirAsia Philippines is the only domestic carrier that offers the all-in-fare promo concept. She candidly said that -- unlike current promo fares of other airlines that only involve a few seats on a flight and tend to surprise ticket buyers with additional fees and surcharges -- AirAsia Philippines will only quote the total ticket cost "all the time."

Recently, AirAsia tried to beat Cebu Pacific's previously famous "Piso fares" (P1) by offering "zero-fares." After passengers complained that the total fare actually includes add-on fees, Hontiveros said they have made it a policy to quote only the all-in-fare from P275, which covers fuel surcharge, processing fee and government mandated fees such as aviation security fee and VAT.

Long wait

AirAsia Philippines is a 60-40 joint venture between a group of Filipino businessmen - Tonyboy Cojuangco, Michael Romero, and Hontiveros - and AirAsia International Ltd., led by Fernandes.
Fernandes met with President Aquino, the cousin of Cojuangco, a few months after the 2010 elections. Fernandes said he was taken by President Aquino's sincerity and goal to level the playing field. He was gung-ho to add Philippines in the growing Asian network of his budget airline in the region.

On Wednesday, March 28, he said making AirAsia Philippines come true is a testament to their confidence in the country.

"We are here because we are confident of its growth. With our pioneering flights and with the options we offer, millions of Southeast Asians will finally be able to easily access the Philippines from various parts of the ASEAN region," he said.

The venture was announced in December 2010, formally launched last March 2011, and was supposed to start flying in December 2011.

A brand new Airbus A320 straigth from Airbus's headquarters in France arrived in Clark in August 2011. However, it stayed mostly on the ground for almost 6 months due to the long wait for government-issued certificate that allows them to start operating.

The 2nd Airbus A320 arrived not long after, but both just sat unused in Clark as the airline executives waited for the government permits.

The long wait was largely due to being the first airline in the Philippines to pass through the new requirements instituted in 2008 after Philippine aviation was downgraded from Category 1 to Category 2 by the United States Federal Aviation Administration.

Nonetheless, Fernandes said he and the AirAsia executives have been patient--and want to be rewarded for it.

Fernandes' excitement for the launch was evident in his tweets the day before.

"This airline is going to be big," the Malaysian businessman tweeted on his account, @tonyfernandes.

"Arrived in Philippines. Very cool to see airasia (sic) Philippines on the fids [Flight Information Display System] screen. Our first flights tomorrow," he tweeted upon arrival in Clark, the airline's hub, on Tuesday.
SEND OFF. AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes waves Philippine flags infront of an AirAsia Philippines aircraft scheduled to fly to Kalibo, Aklan, at the tarmac of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, March 28, 2012. Photo by KD Suarez.SEND OFF. AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes waves Philippine flags infront of an AirAsia Philippines aircraft scheduled to fly to Kalibo, Aklan, at the tarmac of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, March 28, 2012. Photo by KD Suarez.
Fernandes added that the presence of AirAsia in the Philippines is another proof of their company's belief in ASEAN, saying that the country is the "last piece" of the regional jigsaw puzzle.

He said the launch now completes the regional network, with the Philippines being the easternmost and "most important" part, being it closest to the East Asian market where more than a billion potential customers live.

The businessman also emphasized that the country is ready to "explode" and present its offerings to the world.

The low-cost carrier, which had an initial investment of P468 million, currently has 2 Airbus A320 aircraft, and will initially operate flights from Clark to Davao and Kalibo. Flights between Clark and Puerto Princesa will commence next month, to be followed by other domestic destinations. Two more aircraft will arrive this year, according to the airline.

The new airline is the 6th Philippine-based commercial airline at present, and will be competing head-to-head with Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, AirPhil Express, ZestAir, and SeaAir.
Prior to this, the original, Malaysia-based AirAsia has been flying to and from Clark to Kuala Lumpur.

From www.airasia.comFrom

The new airline touted its connectivity to the AirAsia network, which includes companies in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Japan, with Fernandes boasting he could travel to 4 countries in one day.

Transpotation Secretary Roxas, speaking in behalf of President Benigno Aquino III, said that the launch really is about the start of interconnectivity among the different islands of the country and to the rest of Southeast Asia, which will boost trade and tourism.

Also present at the launch were top AirAsia executives from the Philippines and around the region, and the heads of Clark, Davao, and Manila airports.

The event also saw the signing of a "sister airport" agreement between the DMIA and Davao's Francisco Bangoy International Airport.

The agreement aims to promote the use of the two international gateways as alternative airports to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, and to boost the economy and tourism in the 2 cities. -

IndiGo Airlines taps LTP

For Maintenance Services

By: Paolo G. Montecillo
 March 29, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—IndiGo, India’s largest budget airline, has tapped the services of local aircraft maintenance provider Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP).

In a statement, LTP said it had been hired by IndiGo to conduct “lease return checks” on seven of its Airbus A320 aircraft. The first of the planes will arrive at LTP’s Manila hangar in June 2012.

“Our partnership with LTP, one of the leading maintenance, repair and overhaul providers in Asia, will enable IndiGo to use LTP’s proven competence, experience and expertise in on-time completion of lease return checks,” IndiGo said.

LTP is a joint venture between MacroAsia Corp., a sister company of flag carrier Philippine Airlines, and Germany’s Lufthansa, the world’s largest aviation conglomerate.

“We are very pleased to welcome India’s fastest growing airlines and largest low-cost operator to LTP this June,” LTP vice-president for marketing and sales Dominik Wiener-Silva said.

“We are fully committed in providing our expert support to ensure timely lease return of IndiGo’s A320 aircraft. We hope that this agreement is a start of a long-term partnership with one of India’s leading airlines today,” he said.

Earlier this month, LTP inaugurated its new $30 million hangar located at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport complex in Pasay.

The new facility is capable of providing maintenance services for Airbus A380 planes, the biggest passenger planes in the world. The A380, manufactured by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS), can seat as many as 850 passengers.

With a fleet of 50 planes, IndiGo is the second largest budget airline in India with the second largest share of the subcontinent’s domestic travel, trailing behind Jet Airways.

IndiGo is also known to have placed one of the largest orders for planes in commercial aviation history during 2011, when Airbus won the $15-billion deal with the company for 180 aircraft.

CX still the country's biggest foreign carrier

As international passenger traffic grew 9.7%

March 27, 2012

Cathay Pacific (CX) remained the country's biggest foreign-based carrier carrying 1,377,184 passengers in 2011, data from Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) showed.

The Hong Kong-based carrier flies six (6) times a day to Manila and daily flights to Cebu using wide body aircraft into the country.

Singapore Airlines which flew four (4) flights daily is still in the second spot with 640,835 followed by Korean Air, 565,617; Emirates Air, 556,406; and Asiana Airlines, at 536,326.

The next five are Etihad Airways 464,856; Qatar Airways, 444,901; Delta Airlines, 364,101; Saudi Arabian Airlines, 332,634; and China Airlines, 263,413.

Jetstar Asia Airways carried 261,690; Gulf Air, 248,882; Japan Airlines, 229,390; Thai Airways, 222,021; and Qantas at 219,376.

Meanwhile, incoming international passengers went up by 9.5 percent from 7,065,927 to 7,737,327. Fueled by cheap air fares, international passenger traffic flow to the Philippines rose by 9.7 percent in 2011. There were more departures out of the country from OFW traffic when outgoing passengers went up from 7,217,178 to 7,930,719, equivalent to 9.9 percent growth.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) registered the highest number of international passenger flown with 3,905,728 last year. The airline's incoming passenger traffic stood at 1,928,999, while outgoing passenger traffic reached 1,976,729.

PAL was followed by Cebu Pacific registering 2,462,574 international passengers with incoming passengers at 1,209,000 and outgoing passengers at 1,253,574.

Zest Airways flew 223,010 international passengers, Seair 210,670 and Airphil Express 151,051.

Top Operating Airlines in 2011

January to December 2011
1 Philippine Airlines PR 3,905,728
2 Cebu Pacific 5J
3 Cathay Pacific CX 1,377,184
4 Singapore Airlines SQ
5 Korean Air KE 565,617
6 Emirates Airlines EK 556,406
7 Asiana Airlines OZ 536,326
8 Etihad Airways EY 464,856
9 Qatar Airways QR 444,901
10 Delta Airlines DL 364,101

January - December 2010
1 Cebu Pacific 5J 7,970,000
2 Philippine Airlines PR 5,310,614
3 Air Philippines 2P 1,854,516
4 Zest Airways Z2 1,234,611
5 Seair DG 193,183

Source: Civil Aeronautics Board
DOTC, Republic of the Philippines

PAL Axed Ozamiz

Losing destination

March 25, 2012

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) ceased flights to Ozamiz City today in what could be seen as the airline's first step to domestic route rationalization.

"Ozamiz has not been faring well for the airline" said Alfred Herrera, APX senior vice president for sales and marketing.

In contrast, Its low cost subsidiary, Airphil Express has more passengers since it started flying back to Ozamiz on August 8, 2011.

"Its really a budget market and it cannot sustain three airlines" he said.

Ozamiz will  however continue to be served by PAL through a code-share agreement with AirPhil Express. 

Power Failure shutdowns Airport

Blackouts paralyzed airport

March 24, 2012

Zamboanga International Airport became the latest victim of the power outages that plagued Mindanao as it shut down airport operation Friday night due to power failure.

CAAP managed to restore power to the airport's control tower but the power that run its Instrument Landing System (ILS) equipment was fried by intermittent and changing power, report from the the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said.

“We don't have a working ILS and power for our runway lights are busted, so we have to suspend night operations for safety concerns,” said Zamboanga airport manager Celso Bayabos.

Zamboanga City had been experiencing a three-hour rotational brownouts for the past weeks due to the shortage of power in Mindanao.

Two regular daily flights from Manila to Zamboanga City are affected by the closing of the airport after sundown. They are flights operated by Airphil Express and Philippine Airlines.

Midsea Air Express flies Manado

Wings Air and Zest Air to fly Manado too from Davao

March 23, 2012

Philippine carrier Mid-Sea Air Express launched its inaugural Davao-Manado flight on March 18 on a once a week Sunday service. The airline uses a 19-seater Jet Stream aircraft for the route.

Manado is the capital of the North Sulawesi province of Indonesia.

Indonesia's Consul General Eko Hartono said Thursday that an Indonesian airline is currently processing papers and accreditation to fly the route soon while another Philippine based airlines is also applying for Davao - Manado route.

Shelley Sondakh, BIMP-EAGA Executive Secretary identified the airline wanting to operate Manado- Davao and vice versa routes as Zest Air and Lion Air subsidiary Wings Air of Indonesia.

"Wings Air will be flying in May, and Zest Air possibly at the later part of this year," he said.

Lion Air is Indonesia's biggest private airline. It operates 75 aircraft and has existing orders for 348 Boeing 737's valued at US$22 billion. It is by far the biggest single contract for aircraft manufacturer Boeing on the type.

Wings Air has applied for twice a week ATR service, while Mid-Sea Express intends to increase its Jetstream 42 flight frequency to two times a week. There is no details yet for the Zest Air flights.

Cebu Pacific opens Kalibo hub

Now flies Kalibo to Hong-Kong

March 23, 2012

Low cost carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) launched its Kalibo-Hong Kong and re-launch Manila-Xiamen international routes Thursday in line with its commitment to boost Philippines tourism.

“We are proud to offer these convenient linkages for Chinese and Hong Kong tourists to the Philippines, allowing them the fastest access to Boracay” vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog said.

CEB sent off its maiden Kalibo-Hong flight yesterday at 2:35 p.m. in Kalibo, arriving in Hong Kong at 5:05 p.m.

After a send-off program in Hong Kong, the maiden return flight will leave Hong Kong at 5:50 p.m. and arrive in Kalibo at 8:20pm.

The airline also celebrated its maiden Manila-Xiamen flight with a send-off program. It left Manila at 11:20 p.m. and arrived in Xiamen at 1:35 p.m. The return flight will leave Xiamen at 2:25 a.m. and arrive in Manila at 4:40 a.m.

Both routes are thrice weekly services.

The airline also flies to Manila daily from Shanghai, thrice weekly from Guangzhou, and four times weekly from Beijing. CEB also operates six daily flights from Hong Kong to Cebu, Clark and Manila, as well as daily flights from Macau to Manila and up to four times weekly flights from Macau to Clark.

The airline launched its Manila-Hanoi flights last March 17, and will launch its Manila-Siem Reap flights on April 19. It already  flies to Manila daily from Shanghai, thrice weekly from Guangzhou, and four times weekly from Beijing. CEB also operates six daily flights from Hong Kong to Cebu, Clark and Manila, as well as daily flights from Macau to Manila and up to four times weekly flights from Macau to Clark.

Kalibo is the airlines 7th established hub in the Philippines and the 4th gateway out of the country. The other gateways are Manila, Cebu, and Clark.

Code Share equivalent to use of entitlements

No more entitlements to UAE, new bilateral's necessary

By Lenie Lectura

March 20, 2012

Seeking for additional flight entitlements to the Middle East could resolve a complaint filed by Cebu Pacific against the Philippine Airlines (PAL) before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

“We are having air talks with United Arab Emirates this year so the issue may be overtaken by this,” said CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla. He did not say when the negotiations would take place.
Cebu Pacific wants the government to recall some of Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) flight entitlements to the Middle East after the flag carrier stopped its direct flights.
The Gokongwei-owned Cebu Pacific asked the CAB to recall half of the 14 flight entitlements awarded to PAL to fly to United Arab Emirates (UAE). Cebu Pacific is also eyeing for PAL’s Saudi Arabia entitlements.
Cebu Pacific said that since PAL is no longer mounting direct flights in the Middle East countries, the CAB might as well reallocate these to airlines in need of entitlements.
But PAL, said its President Jaime Bautista, flies to those destinations via a code-share agreement with foreign airlines.
“We can fly there if we want. However, we thought at this time that it’s better to code share with others. I think they [CAB] can’t take it away because of the code share agreement we have,” the PAL official said when sought for comment.
PAL flies 14 times a week to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, eight times a week to Bahrain, and seven times a week to Doha, Qatar.
The carrier stopped its direct flights to UAE in 1998. PAL also canceled its Manila-Riyadh route in March 2011.
The CAB said it would be difficult to comment on Cebu Pacific’s complaint now, citing a contract inked with PAL and with a foreign airline.
“When you say that it’s not being used it is complicated because it’s under code share and a subject matter involving a contract between two private entities. If it’s really not being used then we can take it away as we have done before [with] other complaints. But if it’s under code share then that is another question. It is not that easy when something is a subject matter of a contract,” commented Arcilla.
Cebu Pacific announced plans to launch long-haul operations in the third quarter of 2013. Among the destinations being considered are parts of Europe, Middle East, Australia and the United States.

FAA Report raises more questions than answers

Check Pilots should not ride planes for free!

March 19, 2012

The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Report given to Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Mar Roxas raises more questions than answers to the recently concluded Pre-Assessment Audit on International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)'s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP) reviewed by US FAA inspectors on Jan. 23 to 27, 2012.

Sec. Roxas refused to comment when pressed with the issue but confirmed the gaping hole in the aviation transport industry and the incompetence of some regulation officials to address the problem.

Sec Roxas said results of the FAA’s recent technical assessment showed the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines’ (CAAP) failure to address deficiencies.

The transport Secretary expressed his dismay at CAAP saying that “The issues raised were basic international aviation standards,”

Roxas added that “Any self-respecting agency should have followed the standards.” He could also not understand CAAP's reluctance to follow the rules, even if told to.

“Those are the standards. We chose not to follow them and this is the consequence,” Roxas said.

The report stated that the level of compliance on critical aviation safety issues is left much to be desired. For example, the FAA auditors questioned the practice of CAAP inspectors in taking free rides on airlines while conducting audit, which it said is clearly a conflict of interest.

The qualifications and training of CAAP’s inspectors and other critical technical personnel is also flawed and needs to be revamped, as most of them clearly possess no concrete experience to the required job description. CAAP rehired its employees even if they are not clearly qualified for the job.

According to printed news report, the FAA said that in one check they conducted on the aircraft worthiness audit capabilities of CAAP personnel, they noted that the inspectors were issuing rating and limitations on a CAAP-approved aircraft maintenance organization (AMO), despite having no training on the aircraft worthiness check.

FAA also laments the lack of system to evaluate the quality of training the agency are getting for their personnel, such as the pilot skill tests and aircraft worthiness checks casting doubt on the qualifications of these inspectors, and the absence of a computerized records keeping system, such as a Civil Aviation Safety Reporting and Tracking System (CASORT) which has time and again been suggested to the government to install since 2009.

The reason why it isn't installed by CAAP baffles the auditors.

“A review of these records revealed record keeping errors that caused confusion, and a lack of hard copies made the records incomplete,” the FAA report said.

“The records provided were confusing in that they did not clearly differentiate between training provided by the CAAP and training provided by sources prior to employment by CAAP. Without hard-copy records, the CASORT system data alone would have given the false impression that inspectors were not qualified,” it said.

The FAA report also found numerous wording errors in the CAAP's version of Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (PCAR) which needs to be rectified the soonest.
Roxas said that prior to his assumption as DOTC Secretary, the CAAP had made a promise to President Aquino himself that the country would be able to regain its category 1 status with the FAA within a year which they subsequently failed.

CAAP Director General Ramon S. Gutierrez said Monday that they are addressing the technical issues seriously. Gutierrez said they would go to Washington in April this year to lobby the US government for a corrective action plan and clarification from the FAA.

Gutierrez laments that while CAAP had addressed the original 88 “significant safety concerns,” the FAA team added 20 more items for remedial corrections.

"That's why were clarifying some issues with them" says Gutirrez.

Gutierrez said that one of the new issues raised by FAA is not technical but political in nature which can be only solve by the Philippine Congress.

It said that while a Philippine-registered airplanes can operate freely in the US, the US-registered aircraft cannot be allowed to operate in the country.

But Gutierrez is not buying the idea and will challenge the issue raised by FAA in Washington. 

Philippine Airlines Philippine-registered planes has been barred from flying in the United States because of category 2 status.

Aviatour Cessna Crash in Camiguin

Clips coconut tree on approach!

March 5, 2012

A 37-year-old Norwegian woman and a Filipino pilot died after their Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP plane (RPC209), crashed seconds before it landed at the Camiguin airport in Mambajao town around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. Three other passengers survived the crash.

The fatalities were identified as Christian Cesar Cebracus and Racquel Strande. The others were identified as Indonesian co-pilot Nurmala Dewi, the woman's husband Lance Strande, and their 3-year-old child Jensola.

The plane owned by Cebu-based charter company Aviatours departed from Mactan airport at 7:30 a.m bound for Camiguin for sight-seeing tour before it clip a coconut tree on approach to Mambajao airport.

Qatar Airways Bids Cebu Goodbye

Ends flight on March 26

March 2, 2012

Qatar Airways has call it quits for Cebu after more than eight long years of developing the network.

The airline decided to suspend flights to Cebu starting April this year due to economic reason. The inaugural Doha-Cebu flight of Qatar Airways started at Mactan Cebu International Airport on Dec. 11, 2003. The airline served the route three times weekly. It never grow from there.

"We cannot simply fill our planes and grow despite our existence here for more than five years" Cebu commercial manager Mohammed El Emam said yesterday.

In contrast, Manila got the better share of the airline but is prevented from expanding the route due to bilateral restrictions.

"The problem with Cebu I think is domestic connections to other places in Visayas and Mindanao region." says Emam.

"In Manila, you could virtually connect to any places in the Philippines and airlines offered bigger planes such as Airbus 320 to ferry passengers." Emam adds. "In Cebu, you get a commuter plane to the provinces."

But Cebu-based travel agencies has other reasons in mind.

"The Cebu-Qatar route is much more expensive as compared to Manila-Qatar, and sometimes the difference is huge when you consider flying other airlines to the middle east" says a local operator Jenny Franco.

"Perhaps because they operate on monopoly", the operator adds.

However Emam stressed that even if they are alone in Cebu, there is no monopoly for them as plenty of airlines are available in Manila which is an hour away. He stressed that Cebu pricing is actually market based, and since it has fewer passenger to fly they have to pay more.

"It's more or less an economy of scale, if you like" says Emam. 

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) recently asked Qatar Airways to reconsider its decision of withdrawing from Cebu.

“We understand the factors that triggered Qatar Airways to suspend its flights to our island, but we are in dire need of the services of your airways” Chioson said in his letter to the airline.

Hotel and restaurant owners have a different reason.
“I believe it’s a combination of factors that pushed Qatar Airways to that decision: the low cargo revenues, the low yield from business-class,” said Hotel, Resorts, and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) president Hans Hauri.
In an advisory sent to its partners and clients, Qatar Airways said it will stop servicing the Cebu-Doha route because of rising fuel cost and high operating expenses. 

The airline said passengers with flights after March 26 will be provided with alternative flights like the Manila-Doha route that flies twice-weekly.