Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways – two of the three biggest carriers in the Middle East, and the two largest airlines in the United Arab Emirates – have suspended flights to Qatar over the country’s alleged support for terrorist groups.
The move comes in the wake of a second terror attack against the UK inside a month, and after six Gulf nations – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and the UAE – announced they have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, including air and sea traffic to Doha.Emirates
In a statement Etihad said:
“From the morning of June 6, 2017, Etihad Airways will suspend all flights to and from Doha until further notice. The last flight from Abu Dhabi to Doha will depart as EY399 at 02.45 (local time) on June 6. The last flight from Doha to Abu Dhabi will depart as EY390 at 04.00 (local time) on June 6.”
“All customers who are booked on Etihad Airways flights to and from Doha are being provided with alternative options, including full refunds on unused tickets and free rebooking to the nearest alternate Etihad Airways destinations.”
The airline added that “Any further changes to the status of flight schedules to Doha will be communicated through the appropriate channels”.
A similar statement by Emirates reads:
“As instructed by the UAE government, Emirates will suspend its flights to and from Doha, starting from the morning of 6 June 6, 2017, until further notice. The last flight from Dubai to Doha will depart as EK847 at 02.30 on June 6. The last flight from Doha to Dubai will depart as EK848 at 03.50 on June 6.”
Dubai-based budget carrier flydubai also canceled service to Qatar effective June 6, as did Bahrain national carrier Gulf Air, Air Arabia and Saudia Airlines.
In response to the severing of diplomatic ties, Qatar said on its official website that all flights to Saudi Arabia from Doha are now suspended.