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GACA IMPOSES AIRSPACE BAN

Saudi Arabia Airlines suspends Qatar flights.
Image: swisshippo/Bigstock

Saudia, Gulf Air too suspend flights to Qatar

RIYADH, June 5, 2017

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) and Bahrain's national carrier Gulf Air have joined UAE-based Emirates, Etihad Airways and flydubai in suspending all flights to and from Qatar.

The move follows Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Egypt and Yemen severing all diplomatic relations with Qatar, in a coordinated decision. The countries also said all air, sea, and land links with Qatar will be closed.

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), an airline official said that all flights to and from Qatar have stopped starting from today, adding, "Guests who have pre-confirmed reservations to and from Doha before the announcement of this decision can change their destinations or refund tickets without any additional charges."

Gulf Air announced the suspension of its multiple daily service between Bahrain and Doha with effect from 23:59 hrs, June 5 – local Bahrain time – and until further notice.

The last Gulf Air flight from Bahrain to Doha (GF530) will depart at 20:55 on June 5 and the last Gulf Air flight from Doha to Bahrain (GF531) will depart at 22:40 on June 5  (all times local).

A dedicated customer services team from the Gulf Air 24-hour Worldwide Contact Centre has been set up and is contacting affected passengers to offer alternative options, including full refunds on unused tickets and free rebooking to the nearest alternative Gulf Air destinations.

Earlier, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has issued a decision banning all Qatari airlines and aircraft from landing at the Saudi Arabia's airports effective immediately, according to SPA.

The GACA has also stopped all private and commercial airlines registered in the kingdom from operating to Qatar, both direct and non-direct, immediately.

The report said that GACA has decided to prevent all Qatari airlines and aircraft from crossing Saudi Arabia's airspace as June 6 at 00:01 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

According to the press agency, GACA has said that all airlines and non-registered aircraft in Qatar wishing to cross the kingdom's airspace from Qatar have to contact the authority within one week to determine the necessary procedures for continued operation across Saudi airspace.

GACA's circular targets all airlines operating to and from Saudi airports, and is based on the statement issued by Saudi Arabia regarding the severing of diplomatic and consular relations with Qatar.




Tags: Gulf Air | Qatar | Saudia |

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