On Monday, Bahrain, Egypt, UAE, and Saudi Arabia announced that they would be severing diplomatic relationships with Qatar. Caught in the crossfire is Qatar Airways, the country's national airline service.
The mentioned nations are also announcing that they will be refusing other airlines that are based in Qatar as well.
Qatar Airways is in a disastrous situation as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia are its biggest markets.
According to Will Horton, Qatar Airways has always relied on Saudi Arabia for big business. In fact, Qatar Airways is the biggest operating international airline in Saudi Arabia. Will Horton is an analyst from the CAPA Centre for Aviation.
As of the moment, representatives from Qatar Airways are refusing to give comments in relation to the situation.
The main reason of the countries for banning Qatar is because they are accusing Qatar of government destabilization, a risk to safety, and because of the country's support to Iran, ISIS, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
As a way of supporting statements issued by the nation of Saudi Arabia and sister nation of Bahrain, the UAE will sever all relations with Qatar. The break off will include all diplomatic relations. UAE will give all Qatar diplomats and personnel 48 hours to leave the country peacefully.
In 24 hours, UAE seaports and airspace will be closed to all forms of Qatari transportation. This includes all transportation departing and arriving to Qatar from UAE as well as UAE from Qatar.
UAE will continue to collaborate with friendly international companies and UAE territories. They will also enforce all legal measures for all Qatari transportation using the UAE's territorial waters and airspace after the allotted time. These measures are all in the interest of national security.
Even though the countries listed above may refuse to give landing rights to Qatar, banning Qatar Airways from flying over these nations is an entirely different discussion. According to the International Air Services Transit Agreement, banning Qatar Airways from using the listed nations’ airspace is against the agreement. However, Saudi Arabia is not a member of the IASTA.
Over the course of two decades, Qatar Airways became one of the most influential airlines in the world. In fact, Skytrax awarded Qatar Airways as the best international airline in the world back in 2015.
Qatar Airways is ceasing all flights from and to UAE as of June 6 4:00 AM UAE time. All of Qatar Airways’ customers that are affected by the changes will be given alternative options by the company, including free rebooking and full refund. For rebooking, the company will transfer the tickets to partner airlines if possible. Partner airlines of Qatar Airways include TAM Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, S7 Airlines, Royan Jordanian, Qantas, Malaysia Airlines, LAN, Japan Airlines, Iberia, Finnair, Cathay Pacific, Brittish Airways, American Airlines, and Airberlin.
As of the moment, the nations are not indicating when the Qatar ban will be lifted. Most are considering it permanent until further notice.