Bahrain cut off all ties with Qatar this morning, accusing it of backing terrorism and interfering in its internal affairs.
It said the action was “based on the insistence of Qatar to continue to undermine the security and stability of Bahrain and to interfere in its domestic affairs”.
“Gulf Air (is announcing) the suspension of its multiple daily service between Bahrain and Doha with effect from 23:59, 5 June 2017 – local Bahrain time – and until further notice,” said a statement by Bahrain’s national carrier.
“The last Gulf Air flight from Bahrain to Doha (GF530) will depart at 20:55 on 5 June and the last Gulf Air flight from Doha to Bahrain (GF531) will depart at 22:40 on 5 June (all times local).
“Gulf Air regrets any inconvenience this may cause to passengers affected by the suspension.
“A dedicated customer services team from the Gulf Air 24-hour Worldwide Contact Centre has been set up and is contacting affected passengers to offer alternative options, including full refunds on unused tickets and free rebooking to the nearest alternate Gulf Air destinations.”
The Foreign Ministry said that it would withdraw its diplomat mission with 48 hours and that Qatari diplomats should leave Bahrain within the same period.
Bahrain is also closing its airspace, ports and territorial waters to air traffic and shipping to and from Qatar within 24 hours of the announcement of the statement (published at 5.20am).
Bahrain is also banning its citizens from travelling to Qatar or staying there, and has forbidden Qatari citizens to enter or transit through Bahrain.
Qatari residents and visitors are being given 14 days to leave the country.
Gulf Air customers have been urged to contact the worldwide contact centre on +973 17373737 or visit the airline’s website www.gulfair.com for further information.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways said Monday it would suspend flights to Qatar after the United Arab Emirates was among major Gulf states to sever ties with Doha in an unprecedented regional crisis. Etihad said flights would stop on Tuesday, after the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain said they would cut all air, land and sea links with Qatar within 24 hours. Etihad, which operates four return flights to Doha daily, said the measure will be in place “until further notice”. Other carriers from the three Gulf countries, including Dubai’s Emirates, are likely to announce similar measures. The unprecedented measures against Doha include ordering Qatari citizens to leave within 14 days and banning citizens of the three Gulf states from travelling to Qatar. Doha airport, along with airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, have become major hubs after Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways seized a significant chunk of transcontinental travel on routes linking Western countries with Asia and Australasia.
Dubai-based carrier Emirates said it will suspend all flights to and from Doha from Tuesday morning until further notice, joining UAE-based Etihad Airways in a similar move amid a diplomatic spat between Qatar and some of its Gulf neigbhours.The move came after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism, opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world. Emirates said the last flight from Dubai to Doha will depart at 2:30 am on Tuesday, while the last flight from Doha to Dubai will depart at 3:50 am. “All customers booked on Emirates’ flights to and from Doha will be provided with alternative options, including full refunds on unused tickets and free rebooking to the nearest alternate Emirates destinations,” the airline said in an email.
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