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Middle East Airlines in Tit-for-Tat Suspensions

Middle East Airlines in Tit-for-Tat Suspensions

As of this morning, Tuesday 6th June, Qatar Airways “has suspended all flights to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain and Egypt until further notice”. This follows the suspension of flights to Qatar by Saudi Arabian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Gulf Air and Egypt Air. Emirates said that its suspension of flights is “as instructed by the UAE government”.

The suspensions follow the announcement by the governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and the Maldives to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar from yesterday, accusing Qatar of “harbouring a multitude of terrorist and sectarian groups that aim to create instability in the region” – a somewhat ironic accusation given the role of Saudi Arabia, in particular, in the region.

It remains to be seen how air traffic control and flight paths in the region will be affected. The two main routes in and out of Qatar are, or were, over either Saudi Arabian or Bahraini airspace.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 52 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 42 years.

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