THE Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) board will meet with the country manager of Qatar Airways on Friday.
This developed amid appeals from tourism stakeholders, Cebu City Council and Cebu Provincial Board for the airline to reverse its decision to suspend its Doha-Cebu flights starting March 26.
The meeting will be at the Capitol with Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who is an MCIAA board member.
In a press conference yesterday, Garcia said that the board agreed to meet with the Qatar Airways official yesterday.
The board agreed that they would need an official information on this issue from the management.
“We need an official comment. Meeting with the country manager will be a major step,” she said declining to further comment on the matter not until Friday’s meeting.
Last Monday, Garcia said she was shocked when a board member brought this up during their meeting.
She said that the MCIAA was not ‘officially’ informed of this.
Qatar Airways would suspend its Cebu-Doha flights by March 26 because of high fuel prices and high operations cost making the route no longer profitable.
Despite this, she said that the MCIA showed an 16 percent increase in passenger traffic in two month’s time this year.
She compared it to the 15 percent passenger traffic increase last year.
Although it’s not yet official, Garcia said that another airline company planned to set up a direct flight from Taiwan to Cebu.
Last Monday, the PB passed a resolution appealing to the management of Qatar Airways to reconsider its decision to stop its commercial flight operations in Cebu.
The move followed an earlier similar appeal from the Cebu City Council.
The Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) worries on the effect of this temporary suspension of its operations to their businesses and to the tourism industry.
Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale who is the PB’s committee chairperson on tourism, offered to help Qatar Airways management to find a solution to their problem. /Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus