Qatar Airways says ‘vast majority’ of flights operating as scheduled

Qatar Airways says ‘vast majority’ of flights operating as scheduled

Qatar Airways has insisted that the “vast majority” of flights are operating from Doha as scheduled in the face of a diplomatic dispute with neighbouring Middle East nations.

The airline has flown about 1,200 flights between Doha and its network of more than 150 destinations around the globe, with 90% of those flights departing within 15 minutes of their scheduled departure time.

The operations of its global call centre and social media have been significantly increased following what the airline describes as a “blockade”.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt decided last week to sever all ties with Qatar, accusing the country of aiding terrorist groups and Iran – charges it denies.

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “This blockade unprecedented, and it is in direct contradiction to the convention that guarantees rights to civil overflight.

“We call upon the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to declare this an illegal act.

“We are not a political body, we are an airline, and this blockade has stripped us of the rights which are guaranteed to us.”

He added: “Qatar Airways’ global operations continue to run smoothly, with the vast majority of our network unaffected by the current circumstances.

“Our focus is on supporting any passengers impacted by the current situation and ensuring that we continue to deliver our award-winning service.

“Our network expansion continues with two new destinations launching in the next month. As far as we are concerned, it is business as usual.”

The carrier has extended its commercial policy to ensure greater flexibility for refunds and rebooking for passengers whose flight is impacted by the recent travel bans.

The airline has also introduced new functionality on Facebook to provide customers with flexible call-back options.

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