Qatar Airways is assuring travellers that services between Australian cities and Doha are running smoothly despite ongoing disputes between Qatar and its Middle Eastern neighbours.
The statement comes nearly two weeks after the country was cut off from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen and the Maldives for its alleged financial support of groups “that aim to destabilise” the region.
As part of the land, sea and air blockade, Qatar’s national airline has been unable to fly through Saudi Arabia, Egypt or the UAE’s air space. The airline says this has caused very few issues with its operations, as it has managed to fly nearly 1,200 flights between Doha and its worldwide network in the last week.
Qatar Airways’ Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker has stressed that global operations are running smoothly with “the vast majority of our network unaffected by the current circumstances”.
For Aussies, this means all services from Australian cities to Doha are still operating as scheduled, as are any onward flights to Europe.
However, air issues will arise for Australians booked to fly to select Middle Eastern countries via Doha with Qatar Airways.
“Our focus is on supporting any passengers impacted by the current situation and ensuring that we continue to deliver our award-winning service.”
His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Chief Executive
“Our network expansion continues with two new destinations launching in the next month. As far as we are concerned, it is business as usual.”
In the coming months, Qatar Airways’ network will continue to grow to include direct service to Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Next year, the airline is also planning non-stop flights from Doha to Las Vegas (USA) as well as Canberra (Australia).
In light of the blockade, the airline has increased the operations of its global call centre and social media to ensure concerned customers receive the best possible care, and has even extended its commercial policy to ensure greater flexibility for refunds and rebooking for any passengers whose flight is impacted by the recent travel bans. Qatar Airways has also introduced new functionality on Facebook to provide customers with flexible call-back options.