Qatar Airways Cargo restarts freighter service to Bahrain following 2017 dispute

Wikimedia Commons, Pieter van Marion

Qatar Airways Cargo has announced that it has restarted its freighter services to Bahrain, effective from September 1, 2023. 

Qatar Airways Cargo confirmed it will launch three weekly freighter operations to its neighbor, adding more than 200 tons of weekly cargo capacity to/from Bahrain. 

This adds to the 21-weekly narrow-body passenger flights that are already up and running between Qatar and Bahrain. 

“We are glad to be back in Bahrain with dedicated freighters three times a week. Bahrain is an important market for us, and having a consistent freighter service will contribute to the economic and trade growth between Qatar and Bahrain,” Liesbeth Oudkerk, senior vice president of Cargo Sales and Network Planning, said. 

The imports into Bahrain predominantly consist of general cargo, perishables like fruits, vegetables, and meat, while exports from Bahrain consist of general cargo and dangerous goods.  

With the addition of Bahrain, Qatar Airways Cargo now serves 24 Middle Eastern destinations with freighter and passenger belly-hold flights, providing a combined weekly cargo capacity of over 4,500 tons to and from Middle East. 

Only on May 25, 2023, did both states agree to allow for flights to resume between Bahrain and Qatar after a dispute dating back to 2017 was ended. 

According to Doha News this followed the return of diplomatic relations between Qatar and Bahrain in April 2023. 

Back in June 2017, Qatar was accused of supporting terrorism by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt. 

At the time, the four nations imposed sanctions on Qatari aviation by locking out their airspaces.  

The blockade significantly changed the flight operations of Qatar Airways as the flying time, and mileage increased due to necessary detours.  

Saudi Arabia and Qatar agreed to lift the border blockade in January 2021. 

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