Qatar Airways Chief Says Operations Unaffected

Qatar Airways  Chief Says Operations UnaffectedQatar Airways  Chief Says Operations Unaffected

Qatar Airways said on Wednesday the vast majority of its operations had not been affected by airspace restrictions recently imposed on it by four Arab countries.

Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker also repeated calls for the United Nations’ aviation agency to intervene in the airspace rights dispute, Reuters reported.

“We call upon the International Civil Aviation Organization to declare this an illegal act,” al-Baker said in a statement. “We are not a political body; we are an airline, and this blockade has stripped us of the rights which are guaranteed to us.”

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar a week ago, accusing it of fomenting regional unrest, supporting terrorism and getting too close to Iran, all of which Doha denies.

State-owned Qatar Airways and other Qatari-owned aircraft are blocked from using the airspace over the dispute.

Qatar Airways has said it will continue with plans to add 24 destinations between 2017 and 2018, including two next month, despite the restrictions that have forced the airline to fly longer routes to avoid the blocked airspace.

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