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IATA: Qatar Air Links Must be Restored

IATA logoThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned of major travel disruptions due to the ban of Qatari planes from the airspace of a number of countries, the AFP reported on Tuesday.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Egypt and the Maldives severed diplomatic, land, air and ties with the State of Qatar following accusations that the country supports terrorism. Qatar has denied the allegations.

Speaking to AFP on the sidelines of the 73rd IATA Annual General Meeting in Cancun, Mexico, the association’s director general Alexandre de Juniac said that although IATA accepts that countries have the right to close their borders, “connectivity with Qatar must be restored as quickly as possible”.

Airline executives at the IATA meeting said it was still unclear how the measures would affect air travel.

“We hope the crisis will disappear and aviation is coming back to normal,” Abdul Wahab Teffaha, the head of the Arab Air Carriers Organization which groups 33 airlines, told AFP.

Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, has been restricted to fly to the aforementioned countries and on Tuesday arranged for three chartered flights on Oman Air to travel from Jeddah to carry stranded passengers from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Muskat, Oman and then for them to connect to Doha via a Qatar Airways flight.

Saudi Arabia announced that it has revoked the license of Qatar Airways and will be shutting down the airline’s offices in the kingdom.

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