Qatar Airways admits losing money over Gulf ban
In June 2017, Qatar was accused by other Gulf countries of supporting terrorism. Shortly after, its national company Qatar Airways was blocked from 18 airports in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. The planes of the company are also forbidden to use airspace over those countries.
During ITB convention in Berlin in March 2018, Chief Executive of Qatar Airways Akbar al Baker commented that the ban was putting a lot of financial pressure on his company. He had already announced that a consequent loss would be seen at the end of the fiscal period.
It was confirmed at the Eurasia Airshow in Antalya, Turkey. “We have increased our operating costs. We had to also take a hit on revenues so we don’t think that our results for the last financial year will be very good,” said al-Baker. “I don’t want to say the size of the loss but it was substantial.” Qatar Airways reported a profit of 1.97 billion Qatari riyals ($541 million) for the previous fiscal year.
Not only did Qatar Airways lost popular destinations with 18 cities from which it was banned, but the airspace restriction from its neighboring countries demand for Qatar planes to use longer routes, which consume more fuel and hence add to the operational cost.
To balance its financial loss in the Gulf area, Qatar is looking into setting up an Indian domestic airline.
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