Why the Gulf troubles could ground Qatar Airways
Qatar is in a lot of political trouble. With the current airspace Qatar has, its national carrier and aviation network is likely to suffer as a result of a regional blockade.
Qatar current airspace in relation to the size of the state and certainly the size of its aviation and airport network is relatively limited as you can see in the map below.
The prohibition of access to Bahrainian, Emirati, and Saudi airspace is likely to have a catastrophic impact upon both Hamad International Airport, one of the world’s leading hubs, and Qatar Airways.
“Losing Saudi, Bahrain and UAE airspace would effectively ground Qatar Airways,” CAPA — Center for Aviation wrote in a report.
“It is largely surrounded by Bahrain airspace (the Bahrain FIR), a slither on the south is managed by Saudi Arabia while the UAE is on the eastern border,” CAPA went on to detail.
In short, in order for Qatar Airways to reach Doha from the multitude of international destination it flies to and from, it would have to cross the currently prohibited foreign airspace.
Essentially, Qatar as a nation state has next to little geopolitical leverage to alleviate this, according to most leading commentators.
In 2015, Skytrax named Qatar Airways the best airline in the world and Hamad is currently the sixth best airport according to the consumer aviation website.
Have you been affected? What do you think about the issue? Let us know by commenting below.