On Monday 5th June 2017, The governments of Saudi and United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, dispatched all their diplomatic relations with Qatar on the fact stating that the oil-rich country was supporting terrorism.
Initiating this ban on their diplomatic relations, they have given way to one of the biggest political and trade riffs ever known to the Arab world. Following Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states are circling the waggons on Iran, and this move seeks to isolate Qatar to force serious policy and leadership changes.
All these three nations having ended their relation completely has taken a toll on Qatar in a huge manner. The Qatar-based Airlines; Qatar Airways, find these three nation as some of the biggest markets.
According to CAPA – The Center for Aviation analyst Will Horton, Saudi Arabia is Qatar Airways’ largest market. Conversely, the Qatar Airways’ presence in Saudi Arabia is the largest of any international airline.
The three Persian Gulf states accuse the country of putting at stake the security of the region by supporting the Islamic Brotherhood ISIS and Iran. Recently, Abu Dhabi States owned Etihad Airlines and Dubai’s Emirate’s and FlyDubai, have cancelled all flights to and from Doha fromTuesday until further notice. Qatar Airways has mentioned on its website saying that it has cancelled all flights to Saudi Arabia.
This also mean that Qatar Airways will no longer be able to fly to Europe and the US through the Saudi and Egyptian Airspace. This means, longer trips, inefficient routes and increased fuel costs and compromised ticket sales.
On Monday, the CEO of IATA, a global airline industry group, called on sides to put away their differences and reopen links between the countries. Over the past few decades, Qatar Airways has become one of the most influential international airlines in the world.
“Qatar Airways will need to adjust its business strategy to face the fact that its routes to Europe can no longer fly over Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The airline’s profitability will take a direct hit as new routes through Iran and Turkey will include longer journeys and lower demand” said Ayham Kamel, Middle East and North Africa Director of Eurasia Group.
The lack of connecting flights to Doha will pose to be very inconvenient for a nation that is trying to position itself as a business hub as well as a boost for travel and tourism in advance of it’s World Cup in 2022.