Etihad Airways suspends flights to Qatar amid diplomatic dispute

Anjana Sankar /Abu Dhabi
anjana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on June 5, 2017
Etihad Airways suspends flights to Qatar amid diplomatic dispute

(KT file photo)

The suspension will come into effect from June 6.

Etihad Airways will suspend all flights to and from Doha from June 6 until further notice, Abu Dhabi-based national airline of the United Arab Emirates has announced.

"The last flight from Abu Dhabi to Doha will depart as EY399 at 02:45 (local time) on 6 June. The last flight from Doha to Abu Dhabi will depart as EY390 at 04:00 (local time) on 6 June. Flights on 5 June will operate as normal," a spokesperson from Etihad said in a press statement issued to Khaleej Times.

The national carrier's move to suspend flights operating to Doha has come close to the heels of a simmering diplomatic row involving the UAE, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbour, Qatar.

Qatar caused a regional ruckus when its state media published statements attributed to its Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani critical of GCC's policy towards Iran, especially in dealing with the extremist groups.

The comments, later denied as fake by Qatar, came after the US president Donald Trump and King Salman of Saudi Arabia agreed to arms deals worth up to $110 billion (Dh403bn) at a summit on May 20 in Riyadh.

The Etihad spokesperson said 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.

Detailed information is available by calling the Etihad Airways Contact Centre on +971 (0) 2599 0000, or by visiting? the airline's website.

"Any further changes to the status of flight schedules to Doha will be communicated through the appropriate channels. Etihad Airways regrets any inconvenience caused as a result of the suspension," added the spokesperson.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE has cult diplomatic ties with Qatar, and have also announced the closure of transport ties with Qatar, and have given Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave to leave their countries, according to Reuters.


Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.

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