Bad news for Qatar and Qatar Airways. The following countries have decided to sever ties with the small gulf nation:
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- The Maldives
Saudi Arabia has accused Qatar of supporting Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Iranian terrorist groups, thus destabilizing the region. The Saudi Press Agency has released the following statement:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken this decisive decision as a result of grave violations being committed by the authorities in Doha over the past years in secret and public aiming at dividing internal Saudi ranks, instigating against the State, infringing on its sovereignty, adopting various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region including the Muslim Brotherhood Group, Daesh (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, promoting the ethics and plans of these groups through its media permanently, supporting the activities of Iranian-backed terrorist groups in the governorate of Qatif of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Bahrain, financing, adopting and sheltering extremists who seek to undermine the stability and unity of the homeland at home and abroad, and using the media that seek to fuel the strife internally; and it was clear to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the support and backing from the authorities in Doha for coup Al-Houthi militias even after the announcement of the Coalition to Support the Legitimacy in Yemen.
The Kingdom has also taken this decision in solidarity with the Kingdom of Bahrain being subjected to terrorist campaigns and operations supported by the authorities in Doha.
Meanwhile, the Qatari government has denied the claims and its Embassy in the UK has since tweeted the following:
Saudi Arabia has since closed all land borders and airspace to Qatar. The UAE government is also giving Qatari nationals 14 days to leave the UAE.
The following airlines have suspended operations from their home bases to Doha effective June 6, 2017:
The last flight from Abu Dhabi to Doha will depart as EY391 at 21:35 (local time) on 5 June.
The last flight from Doha to Abu Dhabi will depart as EY398 at 22:50 (local time) on 5 June.
The last flight from Dubai to Doha will depart as EK847 at 02:30am on June 6. The last flight from Doha to Dubai will depart as EK848 at 03:50am on June 6.
- Saudia – Saudia still has not released a statement, but tweeted the following in Arabic:
- Gulf Air
The last Gulf Air flight from Bahrain to Doha (GF530) will depart at 20:55 on 5 June and the last Gulf Air flight from Doha to Bahrain (GF531) will depart at 22:40 on 5 June (all times local).
From Tuesday 06 June 2017 all flydubai flights between Dubai and Doha will be suspended until further notice.
Today (05 June 2017) all flydubai flights between Dubai and Doha will operate as scheduled.
The last flights to operate between Dubai and Doha today (05 June 2017) are as follows (All times are local):
- FZ019 departing from Dubai (DXB) at 21:25 and arriving in Doha (DOH) at 21:25
- FZ020 departing from Doha (DOH) at 22:40 and arriving in Dubai (DXB) at 00:50
- FZ5001 departing from Dubai (DWC) at 20:20 and arriving in Doha (DOH) at 20:25
- FZ5002 departing from Doha (DOH) at 21:25 and arriving in Dubai (DWC) at 23:35
- Air Arabia – It has been reported that Air Arabia will suspend all flights from their home base of Sharjah to Doha.
In effect, Qatar Airways has also suspended operations to the above countries.
- Qatar Airways
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Qatar Airways has suspended all flights to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia until further notice.
Qatar Airways has suspended all flights to the UAE from 00:00 UTC June 6th (03:00 Doha time, June 6th) until further notice.
Flights QR1020, QR1021, QR1054, QR1055, QR1034, QR1035, QR 1036, QR1037, QR1018, QR1019, QR1014 and QR1015 to and from the UAE on June 5th will operate as planned and remain unaffected.
Kingdom of Bahrain
Qatar Airways has suspended all flights to the Kingdom of Bahrain from 00:00 UTC June 6th(03:00 Doha time, June 6th) until further notice.
Flights QR1106, QR1107, QR1108 and QR1109 to and from the Kingdom of Bahrain on June 5thwill operate as planned and remain unaffected.
Qatar Airways has suspended all flights to Egypt from 04:00 UTC June 6th (07:00 Doha time, June 6th) until further notice.
Flights QR1302 and QR1318 from Egypt on June 5th will operate as planned and remain unaffected.
All customers booked on affected flights will be provided with alternative options, including the option of a full refund on any unused tickets and free rebooking to the nearest alternative Qatar Airways network destination.
Please check this page regularly for further flight updates.
For passengers with existing bookings, please call +974 4023 0072 or contact your nearest Qatar Airways office: https://www.qatarairways.com/en/contact-us.html
As expected, this action has affected hundreds of flights not only within the region, but globally. If you’re scheduled to fly on any of the airlines above and originating or terminating to and from any of the affected countries within the next few days, then I suggest you call the airlines to arrange for alternate bookings.
However if your flight is not until later on in the year, I would suggest waiting it out a bit and see where this leads.
Things are still developing as I type, although I’m trying to be optimistic that tensions will diffuse within the next few days/weeks. I will update as things unfold…