Following the ongoing diplomatic rift in the Gulf, Etihad Airways has announced that it will cancel all its flights to Qatar. This announcement comes after United Arab Emirates announced that it is cutting ties with Qatar following similar announcements by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The dispute between Qatar and the Gulf’s Arab countries started over apparent hack of Qatar’s state run news agency.
In an official announcement, Etihad Airways declared that all the flights to and from Doha will be suspended started June 6, 2017. They will operate as scheduled today June 5, 2017. The last flight from Abu Dhabi to Doha will depart as EY391 at 21:35 (local time) on 5 June. The last flight from Doha to Abu Dhabi will depart as EY398 at 22:50 (local time) on 5 June. The aircraft for these flights has been upgraded to a Boeing 777. All customers who are booked on Etihad Airways flights to and from Doha are being provided with alternative options, including full refunds on unused tickets and free rebooking to the nearest alternate Etihad Airways destinations.The airline operates four returns flights to Doha daily and shared that the measure will be in place until further notice.
Other carriers from the three Gulf countries are also expected to make similar announcements soon. Doha airport is a major hub in the region along with Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It attracts significant traffic as Qatar Airways captured a chunk of travel linking Western countries with Australia and Asia.