Business travel through the Persian Gulf region has been significantly affected by political decisions cutting off air and sea passage to and from Qatar and closing some Middle East airspace to Qatar Airways.
Affected travelers include those:
- Flying direct between Qatar and six Mideast countries: the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain
- Traveling to/from those six countries who are scheduled to stop in Qatar (for instance Singapore to Cairo via Doha or London to Riyadh via Doha)
- Qatar Airways
- Etihad, Emirates
- Air Arabia
- Gulf Air
- Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia)
What travelers and travel managers should know
Airlines are generally offering either a full refund on unused tickets or rebooking travelers to the nearest alternative destination on their network.
Additionally, travelers flying on Qatar Airways to other destinations may experience travel delays because of the airspace restrictions. Qatar’s airspace is nearly engulfed by Bahrain, with Saudi Arabia to the west and the UAE to its east. Iranian airspace lies above Bahrain to the north and is still open to Qatar Airways flights.
BCD Travel travelers should contact BCD agents for assistance. BCD corporate clients may contact their account managers to find out more about how to help travelers affected by this and other trip disruptions.