Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Boycott Weakens Qatar Airways Competitiveness | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh- Observers and economists expected the aggravation of the crisis experienced by Qatar Airways after the boycott that created a catastrophic situation – according to their description – in the Qatari air transport.

They warned that the sector has been suffering the largest losses through its history, stressing that the launch of new lines is not feasible economically.

The losses are currently estimated at 10 percent and are likely to increase to 20 percent before the end of this year, as well as other problems, including disruption of competition, extension of flight time and cancellation of some of flights in case the talks between the four boycotting countries and Doha failed.

“Boycotting Qatar has put the national transporter and the economies of the regional and international air transport between two options. Either Qatar has to meet the four boycotting countries’’ demands to return to its normal state before the boycott or remain stubborn, causing failure of the talks between the two sides, which will force Doha to seek new routes that are financially costly and inconvenient for travelers, losing influential international travel economies,” Taif University Professor Dr. Salem Ba’ajaja told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“Halting regular flights with the four boycotting countries have had a negative impact on the revenues of Qatar Airways, which lost about two billion riyals ($533.3 million) in June, and will be applied on all flights, leading to a drop in its annual profits,” Ba’ajaja added.

He pointed out that the boycott has turned from a political and diplomatic crisis to a national economic crisis in general and on the Qatari airlines for their national transport in particular.

The boycott has also negatively affected international and regional airlines that deal with Qatar in one way or another, Ba’ajaja said, forcing it to change air routes.