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Major Middle East airlines suspend flights to Qatar

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Major airlines have suspended travel to and from Qatar amid a diplomatic row.
Qatar's flag carrier will also have to stop flights to places like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Cairo [EPA]

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Maldives and Yemen have cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar and closed their air space and seaports to Qatari vessels and planes.
 
The diplomatic rift has wreaked havoc with airlines in the region, with major long-haul carriers such as Doha-based Qatar Airways and Dubai's Emirates suspending flights.

Here is how travel will be affected:

Qatar Airways, on its website, says it has stopped flights to Saudi Arabia, starting from noon on Monday.

A spokeswoman said it was unclear if the suspension would be extended.
 
Qatar Airways flies to nine cities in Saudi Arabia.

Qatar's flag carrier has not yet said if there will be changes to flights to cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Cairo.

Dubai's Emirates and Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways are suspending all flights to and from Doha, starting on Tuesday morning.

Emirates, in a statement on its website, said its flights to and Doha on Monday will operate as normal.

Its last flight from Dubai to Doha will depart as EK847 at 02:30am on Tuesday. The last flight from Doha to Dubai will depart as EK848 at 3:50am on Tuesday.

Etihad Airways' last flight from Abu Dhabi to Doha will depart as EY391 at 9:35pm, while the last flight from Doha to Abu Dhabi will depart as EY398 at 10:50pm on Monday, the airline said in a statement.

Both airlines are offering full refunds on unused tickets and free rebooking to alternate cities to customers booked on flights to and from Doha.

The carriers operate four daily return flights to Doha.

FlyDubai, a Dubai-based budget carrier, said it is cancelling its flights to Qatar, beginning on Tuesday.

Air Arabia, a Sharjah-based carrier, said its last outbound flight from Sharjah to Doha will depart at 6:30pm on Monday, while the last inbound flight from Doha to Sharjah will depart at 7:25pm local time.

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), in a Twitter post, said it has suspended all flights to Qatar.
 
Source: Al Jazeera
 
 
 
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