Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Confusion, Chaos at Doha Airport after Cancellation of 1500 Flights | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A passenger walks in a terminal upon his arrival at Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Jeddah – Confusion and chaos is prevailing over Doha International Airport after the cancellation of 1,500 flights to Doha, as flights to Qatar have been paralyzed for the first time in the history of aviation in the region.

In Saudi Arabia, Qatar Airways is expected to complete the final closure of its offices on Thursday, in line with a deadline of 48 hours set by Riyadh.

Economic Expert Nasser al-Qaraawi told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that Qatar’s aviation sector was one of the sectors that will incur the biggest losses due to the ongoing isolation of the Arab peninsula.

He noted in this regard that the number of airline companies that would stop their flights to Qatar would reach 20 by the end of the week, while 16 companies have suspended flights to Doha by Wednesday.

The expert stressed that Doha’s policies in the region have led to the cancellation of 1500 monthly flights from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt to Qatar, including 133 flights operated by the Saudi airlines.

He added that Qatar has chosen to be a hub for terrorist groups, instead of working to become an international economic center.

According to another economic expert, Qatar Airways would lose more than 40 percent of its returns due to the GCC isolation.

Lahem Al-Lahem told Asharq Al-Awsat that closing the Saudi airspace would incur heavy financial burdens on the Arab state.