UAE closes down Qatar Airways offices inside its borders

The country's aviation authority has yet to make official comment on the situation after Saudi Arabia revoked the Qatar carrier's licences earlier.

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority has closed all Qatar Airways offices in the UAE with immediate effect. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
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Qatar Airways offices in the UAE have been closed with immediate effect as citizens of the Gulf state are banned from flying from or through the UAE.

It follows a similar move by Saudi Arabia. On Tuesday, the kingdom’s General Authority of Civil Aviation cancelled lic­ences for Qatar Airways and ordered its offices closed within 48 hours.

Qatar Airways declined to comment.

The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority also told airports yesterday that Qatari-registered aircraft were not to be allowed to overfly the UAE, arrive at or depart from the airports here. Aircraft that are not registered in the UAE intending to depart to or arrive from Qatar require prior approval from the GCAA. The aviation agency did not respond to requests for confirmation and the Abu Dhabi International Airport referred queries to the GCAA.

Any expansion of the no-fly zone would impact operating costs and flight times for airlines, according to Peter Morris, the chief economist at Flight Ascend Consultancy in London.

Royal Jet, the charter jet provider, said yesterday that it was suspending Qatar flights with immediate effect.

On Tuesday, Qatar Airways said it arranged for three charter flights from Jeddah to Muscat to bring back stranded Qatar Airways passengers to Doha.

“This move is unlike any other,” said Saj Ahmad, the chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research.

He said that Qataris currently residing in the UAE would now have to transit through countries such as Oman and Iran.

As the UAE cut off ties with Qatar by land and air, some shipping lines have also stopped their services, including Evergreen and Maersk.


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