Airlines suspend travel to Qatar - what you need to know

Travel News 06 Jun 2017

Emirates, Etihad, Egypt Air, Gulf Air and Saudi Arabian Airlines have suspended flights to Doha, Qatar following the decision by the governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Here’s how this affects you as a business traveller and what you need to know:

What countries have suspended flights to Qatar?

The Maldives, Yemen and Libya have joined Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in suspending all diplomatic ties with Qatar.  

In all cases, these seven nations have advised:

  • All air and sea ports as well as land borders between Qatar and these seven nations are closed which means that all flights are suspended from today and until further notice
  • Qatar Airways (QR) is restricted from the seven nations' airspace until further notice.
  • Airspace over Qatar is not closed
  • Qatari diplomats have 48 hours to leave.
  • Qatari citizens in each of these countries have 14 days to leave and return to Qatar.

Which airlines have suspended flights to Qatar?

The below airlines will suspend its flights to and from Doha, starting from the morning of 6 June 2017, until further notice:

  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • Egypt Air
  • Gulf Air
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines

What are my options from the airlines for my travel?

All the affected airlines are offering refunds or re-accommodation to another port for customers who are booked to fly between Qatar and one of these countries:

  • Emirates: All customers booked on Emirates’ flights to and from Doha will be provided with alternative options, including full refunds on unused tickets and rebooking to alternate Emirates destinations. 
  • Etihad: 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.
  • Qatar: Qatar Airways has suspended all flights to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kingdom of Bahrain and Egypt until further notice. All customers booked on affected flights will be provided with alternative options, including the option of a full refund on any unused tickets and free rebooking to the nearest alternative Qatar Airways network destination.
  • Egypt Air has advised via twitter that all flights to Doha were suspended with the last service operating early today.  The airline has not updated its website but may do so later.
  • Gulf Air:  A Worldwide Contact Centre has been set up and is contacting affected passengers to offer alternative options, including full refunds on unused tickets.
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines: Due to the current situation of Qatar it has been decided to waive all tickets’ restrictions (Rebooking / Rerouting / Refund and No-show) of affected passengers holding confirmed reservations on flights departing from / to Qatar effective 05th of Jun’17 until further notice. 

What does it mean if you are booked on these airlines but NOT travelling to Qatar?

It is business as usual.  Your flights will not be affected.

What does this mean if you are travelling on Qatar (QR)?

Again, it is business as usual for QR unless you are flying to one of the seven nations that have severed ties.  If you’re travelling to or via Qatar to Europe or another destination (other than the seven listed above) you will be able to travel as normal.

What if you are nervous about travel to or via the Middle East because of these events?

We understand that these diplomatic issues may cause concern.  At this time, we are operating business as usual.  Airline and airport security remains strong across the globe.  

We will provide more information as we receive it to keep you abreast of any travel disruptions. 

Remember, your travel expert can assist with any questions you may have around your travel bookings.