Dubai: Qatar Airways will stop flying to Cebu province in southern Philippines from March 26 due to "commercial reasons", thus ending its nearly nine-year service.

The Doha-based carrier flies to Cebu three times a week.

"Qatar Airways is suspending operations to Cebu, Philippines, due to commercial reasons. The last scheduled flight operating on the Doha-Cebu route will be on March 26, 2012," the carrier said in a statement sent to Gulf News, adding that passengers booked on flights after March 26 to and from Cebu will be provided with alternative travel options.

Second route dropped

Cebu is the second route Qatar Airways has had to drop due to commercial reasons. In May 2009, the carrier ended its services to the Indian city of Nagpur due to a poor load factor. In an advisory sent to its partners and clients in Cebu, the carrier said it will stop servicing the route because of "rising fuel costs and high operating expenses", a report in the Manila Bulletin said.

"Doha-Cebu has been one of our high demand services since we started the route in December 2003.

"But following a thorough review over the past 12 months of the thrice-weekly services we have decided to suspend the Cebu flights for commercial reasons until further notice," Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said in a statement.