Qatar catch-up

Qatar catch-up

When Gulf states severed ties with Qatar, the consensus was that the diplomatic arguments would be solved relatively quickly. One week later things have not changed.

With the closure of Bahrain routes and surrounding airspace out of bounds, Qatari aircraft are having to divert over Iran and Oman airspace.

Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, is keen to stress that his airline is still flying despite the blockade.

“Qatar Airways’ global operations continue to run smoothly, with the vast majority of our network unaffected by the current circumstances,” says Al Baker. “Our focus is on supporting any passengers impacted by the current situation and ensuring that we continue to deliver our award-winning service. Our network expansion continues with two new destinations launching in the next month. As far as we are concerned, it is business as usual.”

But he is, of course, also keen for the blockade to end.

“This blockade is unprecedented, and it is in direct contradiction to the convention that guarantees rights to civil overflight,” said Al Baker. “We call upon the International Civil Aviation Organisation to declare this an illegal act. We are not a political body, we are an airline, and this blockade has stripped us of the rights which are guaranteed to us.”

Manufacturers are also watching closely , with Tom Enders of Airbus saying: “Any disruption in any mature region or market that is relevant for us is a reason for concern.”

Last week Qatar released its annual report for its fiscal year 2017, reporting a net profit of $541 million, a 21.7% rise. Sales were up  10.4%. The 2018 financial year is unlikely to be as strong.

Alex Baldwin
By Alex Baldwin June 15, 2017 13:12