Colombo, June 6 (NIA) – Sri Lanka’s national airline carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines, on Tuesday said it will continue to operate its flights to Qatar after several Gulf States and the Maldives cut off all ties with the Arab state.
Sri Lankan Airlines however said it will continue to monitor the situation in the Middle East closely.
UAE airlines are suspending flights to Doha from Tuesday after five Arab states, including the UAE, severed diplomatic as well as land, air and sea ties with Qatar.
The Abu Dhabi airport also will not receive Qatar Airways flights from Tuesday as the row with Qatar escalates, Arab media reported.
As well as closing its land border, Saudi Arabia will close as of Tuesday its airspace to Qatari commercial, state and business flights, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation said on Monday.
Any airlines wishing to fly across the Kingdom’s airspace from Qatar will need to seek permission from the authority and have one week to do so, it said.
“Abu Dhabi Airports confirms that all 10 daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Doha will be suspended at Abu Dhabi International Airport until further notice, and passengers are advised to contact their respective airline for a confirmation on their flights for [Monday],” The National reported, quoting a spokeswoman for Abu Dhabi Airport.
There will be no flights between Abu Dhabi airport and Qatar from Tuesday, she said. Qatar Airways operates six return flights a day from Abu Dhabi, followed by four from Etihad. The Doha-based airline said it had suspended all flights to the UAE from June 6, along with flights to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt until further notice.
Flights connecting Doha with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are also suspended, with Saudi Arabia imposing a no-fly zone for Qatari planes. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen and the UAE have sealed their borders with Qatar.
Qatar Airways had built up Doha as its hub for the flights connecting South Asia and Europe and North America.
“If this traffic weakens and load factors drop on services to all destinations, Qatar Airways would be faced with having to reduce service levels or increase prices across a wide range of routes, not just those directly affected,” said Peter Morris, the chief economist at Flight Ascend Consultancy in London.
Emirates operates seven return flights a day between Dubai and Doha, while flydubai operates up to six return flights a day between the two cities.