Qatar Airways Files $69 Million Loss as Gulf Crisis Bites

Qatar Airways Files $69 Million Loss as Gulf Crisis Bites

Tuesday, 18 September, 2018 - 17:30
A Qatar Airways aircraft is seen at a runway of the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in Athens, Greece. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Qatar Airways on Tuesday posted a net loss of over $69 million in the year to March 2018 as the diplomatic and economic boycott of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates leaves its mark on the Gulf state.

The national airline said the period had been "the most challenging year in its 20-year history".

Saudi Arabia and its allies broke off relations with Qatar on June 5, 2017 over its support and funding of terrorist groups.

In a statement, Qatar Airways said the blockade had directly impacted its revenues, slashing seat occupancy on flights leaving Qatar by some 19 percent.

It said its fleet had been forced to ply longer routes, raising fuel costs, as well as cancelling flights to 18 destinations.

The airline opened 14 new routes over the period but said they came with launch costs and warned that establishing a presence in new markets would take time.

"This turbulent year has inevitably had an impact on our financial results, which reflect the negative effect the blockade has had on our airline," said the group's chief executive Akbar Al Baker

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