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Impasse over Qatar Airways flights continues

Qatar fleetMoves to restore diplomatic ties between Qatar and other Middle Eastern nations have failed. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt all severed diplomatic relations with Qatar on Monday. The spat has resulted in the suspension of all flights between the countries.

Libya, Yemen and the Maldives have since followed suit and are not allowing direct flights between Doha and airports in their countries either. The seven nations cut ties with Qatar amid allegations the country was providing support for Islamic extremist factions and contributing to the destabilisation of the whole of the Middle East.

The diplomatic isolation means that Qatar Airways is avoiding flying into the airspace of countries it is banned from. Flights operated by Qatar Airways and passing through the Middle East are taking longer than normal.

Travel companies say people who have booked flights with Qatar or with other carriers which require a transit or stopover in the Middle East should check for changes. They also noted flight schedules between Doha’s Hamad International Airport and the seven nations have been suspended.

Gulf News has additional advice for people wishing to get their money back from Qatar flights. In an article posted yesterday, it says that people who booked directly should go to the request refunds page on Qatar’s website while those who bought tickets from agencies should contact them.

Longer flight times have increased the length of the longest passenger flight in the world. Qatar Airways’ Doha-Auckland flights take 15 minutes more than the 16 hours average. Travellers who have boarded the carrier’s flights for Doha have reported that most are half-full at best.

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