by Lauren McMah – news.com.au
EMIRATES and Etihad have assured Australian passengers that aside from Qatar routes, their usual flights will not be disrupted as a diplomatic rift sparks air travel chaos across the Gulf region.
Emirates, Etihad, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Egypt Air and other Gulf carriers have announced they will no longer fly in and out of Qatar after Saudi Arabia and six other Arab states cut air, sea and land links to the increasingly isolated nation.
In turn, Qatar Airways announced on Tuesday it would suspend all flights to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain until further notice.
The flight suspensions will immediately impact passengers on busy air routes between the Qatari capital, Doha, and other Middle Eastern cities, such as Egypt, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Experts are also bracing for a flow-on effect to other Gulf-based operators, such as delays due to changes in airspace rules.
But a spokeswoman for Emirates told news.com.au there would be “no impacts” to the airline’s other routes, such as those that connect Australia with Europe and Asia via Dubai. Only Emirates flights in and out of Doha will be affected by the situation in the Gulf, the airline says.