Gov to meet Qatar Air’s top officials this month
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia will meet the chief executive officer and the senior vice president of Qatar Airways before the March 27 suspension of the airlines’ Cebu-Doha flights.
Garcia scheduled the meeting after Qatar Airways Adballa Okasha said that it wasn’t within his power to decide on the suspension of flight operations.
Okasha met last Friday at the Capitol with officers of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority board led by its board member Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, airport general manager Nigel Paul Villarete, the Provincial Board and other tourism stakeholders.
Okasha told the Cebu officials and tourism stakeholders that they should address their concerns to the airline’s top officials.
Garcia asked Okasha if Qatar Airways could probably give “leeway” and extend its stay in Cebu.
Okasha said only the airline’s top management could decide on that.
Villarete said in an interview, that there were three Qatar Airways flights out of at least 100 international flights per week in Cebu.
But, he said that what they were concerned about was that only Qatar Airways was offering direct flights to the Middle East.
Qatar Airways will suspend its Cebu-Doha fligths by March 26. The airline cited high fuel prices and high operations costs making the route no longer profitable.
Okasha said that the company’s last flight would be March 24.
All bookings and flight schedules are already been set to be suspended by March 27.
He, however, suggested that Cebu officials should lobby for the scrapping of the taxes that have burdened them which includes the three percent common carrier tax and the 2.5 percent international carrier tax.
Garcia said that she would seek the help of Cebuano congressmen to lobby for the scrapping of those airline taxes. /Correspondent CArmel Loise Matus
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