Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker has said the airline's "global operations continue to run smoothly and remain unaffected."
“Our focus is on supporting our passengers and ensuring that we continue to deliver our award-winning service. As far as we are concerned, it is business as usual,” he said.
The national carrier said the three flights organised by the airline to bring passengers from Saudi Arabia to Qatar have successfully reached Doha on Tuesday night. All passengers arrived safely home in Qatar via Muscat.
The flights, chartered on Oman Air, departed King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on Tuesday and landed in Muscat. A connecting Qatar Airways flight then transported the passengers from Muscat onward to Doha.
The airline also organised an additional flight with Kuwait Airlines on Wednesday to transport remaining passengers in Saudi Arabia to Doha via Kuwait.
A-Baker said, “Qatar Airways has worked tirelessly to ensure that all passengers were brought home safely to Doha within 24 hours of the flight cancellations. We have provided additional crew on the ground to ensure that all passengers are being cared for.”
The airline said it is supporting its staff affected by the situation in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.
All passengers booked on affected flights will be provided with alternative options, including the option of a full refund on any unused tickets and free rebooking to the nearest alternative Qatar Airways network destination.
Meanwhile, the CAPA Centre for Aviation said “public confidence in aviation has been dealt a blow and for aviation there are no long term winners from this” in view of the landing and airspace restrictions.
“It is difficult to see the ban persisting for long. There can be few winners from it. It has already created wider uncertainty for Gulf aviation and passengers whose bookings are months away. The nuances of the ban are too particular for the public to understand, but the broader shadow it creates spreads widely,” CAPA said.
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