Early details are fleshing out on the Qatar story that broke early Monday morning.
The following countries have severed diplomatic, and to varying degrees, transit ties, with Qatar: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Yemen, Maldives and Libya. Al Arabiya is compiling the respective government statements.
Al-Jazeera has a running update of key events.
BBC has an explainer piece with one scholar’s take. This is a part of the world I have very little understanding. The intrigues within intrigues within intrigues nature of events makes it seem that everyone is guessing most of the time.
What Airlines Stop and When
Here are the airline statements released Monday:
- Etihad, suspending Doha flights from 6 June
- Emirates, also suspending Doha flights from 6 June, though a pair of flights in the early hours of 6 June will operate
- FlyDubai, suspending Doha flights from 6 June
- Air Arabia, suspending Doha flights from 6 June
- Saudia suspended Doha flights immediately following their government’s 5 June announcement of severing diplomatic ties
- Gulf Air, suspending Doha flights from 6 June
- EgyptAir has not come out with a full statement, one report cities flights delays on 5 June while they are trying to figure out their approach
- Qatar Airways has so far only announced cancellation of Saudi Arabia flights, expect more to come, and are offering full refunds for impacted travel (update 6/5 12:37 EDT – Qatar has announced the expected further suspension of their flights to Bahrain, UAE and Egypt, effective 6 June)
All of these are ‘until further notice.’
Them or Us
Highly reliable Sean M left a comment on One Mile at a Time that the UAE is notifying foreign carriers that if they operate to Qatar from 6 June they will have their UAE landing and overfly flights revoked. This has not been released publicly yet by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority.
Airlines that operate to Qatar and countries such at UAE that have severed ties with Qatar will face pressure from both sides. No easy answers to them on what to do.
Wikipedia airport pages list airlines flying to each airport, here are the carriers to Doha, some of which also fly to the UAE.
Overfly Rights and Travel Hackers
Overfly rights are also impacted such as for flights that cross both Qatari and Saudi airspace. From what I am reading from aviation people, this could be interpreted to cover all fights into and out of Qatar. Wandering Aramean explains the issue.
There are a number of travel hackers that make a regular Cairo-Doha-anywhere run because of low price business class fares on Qatar Airways from that market.
Upcoming Travel Impacted?
It is too soon to know much of anything beyond the immediate facts. Those with upcoming Qatar Airways travel to and from non-impacted countries should watch for updates but not immediately panic.
Those with immediate upcoming travel via Doha to the involved (and growing number of) countries should make alternate plans. Check for any airline waivers that go into effect and any potential insurance coverage that may apply.