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Qatar political row jeopardises Middle East aviation
Political developments are likely to create headaches for Qatar Airways

Qatar political row jeopardises Middle East aviation

Five Middle Eastern countries have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region.

The move has thrown Middle Eastern aviation into chaos, with a number of routes suspended.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen have all cut ties with Qatar, stating the country backs militant groups including so-called Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

Qatar has denied the accusation.

In response Etihad Airways said it would cancel all flights to and from Doha from Tuesday.


The Abu Dhabi-based carrier currently operates four flights a day to the Qatari capital.

Emirates took a similar decision, cancelling its four daily flights from tomorrow.

flyDubai, the leading budget carrier in the region, said it would also cancel all flights.

Gulf Air, flag-carrier of Bahrain, and EgyptAir are expected to follow suit shortly.

The biggest loser, however, could be Qatar Airways.

All five of the countries cutting links with Qatar have said they will close their air space to aviation traffic from Doha.

Qatar Airways will be forced to halt flights to popular destinations such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Cairo.

The decision could impact dozens of flights a day.

The ban will also force the Qatar-government owned carrier to alter flight paths, adding time to flights and increasing fuel costs.

Travel alters from Qatar Airways, outlining how flights will be affected, can be seen here.

Passengers with existing bookings are advised to call +974 4023 0072 or contact the nearest Qatar Airways office.