Qatar flight ban begins as Gulf crisis grows


"Qatar has been exposed to an instigation campaign based on allegations that amounted to absolute fabrications, which proves that there are premeditated intentions to cause damage to the state", Qatar's Foreign Ministry said.It further accused the nations involved of seeking to impose "guardianship" over Qatar.

So what should passengers do?

Announcing the closure of transport ties with Qatar, the three Gulf states gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave.

Saudi Arabia has also closed its border with Qatar, effectively blocking food imports and a segment of the country's exports over what Riyadh says is Doha's support for extremism.

"A direct flight between Qatar and Ireland is due to commence later this month".

The ball is now in Qatar's court, local analysts have said, as the rift between it and the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt reached unprecedented levels on Monday. "Will you reimburse hotel charges and transportation to the airport if the flights are cancelled?"

The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Reza Nourani, chairman of the union of exporters of agricultural products, as saying that food shipments sent from Iran could reach Qatar in 12 hours.

"People here are scratching their heads as to exactly what the Saudis expect Qatar to do", said Gerd Nonneman, professor of worldwide relations and Gulf studies at Georgetown University's Doha campus.

Al Jazeera is a Doha-based state-funded broadcaster owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network, which is partly funded by the House of Thani, the ruling family of Qatar.

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Tickets booked online can be refunded at the refund requests section of the website, at a Qatar Airways Office or on the call centre.

Always fly with Qatar Airways when taking a break from Dubai?

"A potential risk to monitor might be that Qatar will view this as being provided with less encouragement to comply with the agreed production quota", said Jameel Ahmad of futures brokerage FXTM.

After the majority of US forces withdrew from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait became home to the logistical hub, transportation pipeline, and base of operations for the troops operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it is not clear if the refund will be in cash or in credit against other ticket purchases with the same airline.

Efforts are being undermined because loans are rising faster than in Saudi Arabia and the Qatar continues spending to finance building projects for the soccer World Cup.

The United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday that Qatar would need to provide a "guaranteed roadmap" before it would consider mending ties. The White House said the sale, "bolsters the Kingdom's ability to provide for its own security and continue contributing to counterterrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on USA military forces". "I doubt very much we will sit on the sidelines and let this crisis get more serious". What are my options?

Jet Airways, whose strategic partner is UAE-based Etihad Airways, said its flight operations to Doha are as per schedule. The diplomatic row has also left US officials to play down the incident's impact - even as the host of the largest USA naval base in the region, Bahrain, and the host of the largest USA air base in the region, Qatar, no longer share diplomatic relations.

There's no fixed end date for this. "And I think everyone is speculating how far these steps will go forward", said Mohammed Ali Yasin, chief executive of Abu Dhabi's NBAD Securities.