Qatar Air’s Al Baker Says ‘Business As Usual’
Qatar Airways said it is operating the majority of its flights to and from its Doha hub and operations are “running smoothly.”
The Doha-based airline said in a statement it had flown around 1,200 flights, with 90 percent departing within 15 minutes of their scheduled departure time.
The update comes after Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties with Doha, over Qatar’s alleged support of Islamic militants. Qatar denies the allegations.
Qatar Air is banned from flying to those countries, and has been forced to reroute flights away from their airspace. The changes have resulted in longer flight times on some routes.
“Qatar Airways’ global operations continue to run smoothly, with the vast majority of our network unaffected by the current circumstances,” Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said. “Our network expansion continues with two new destinations launching in the next month. As far as we are concerned, it is business as usual.”
Al Baker called on the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) “to declare this an illegal act. We are not a political body, we are an airline, and this blockade has stripped us of the rights which are guaranteed to us.”