Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Flights from Kerala to be delayed as Qatar imbroglio takes to the skies

Kochi:  Passengers to Doha, get ready for more flight delays and air fare hikes. The diplomatic face-off between five GCC nations and Qatar has reached the skies, taking its toll on the timings of Doha-bound flights from Kerala.

Officers of various airlines told Express that flights to Doha from Kerala will experience a delay of up to one hour in the wake of restrictions on using the air space of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE after they severed diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Air India Express officers said flights to Doha may be delayed by 40 minutes as the aircraft have to use the airspace of Pakistan and Iran to reach their destination.  Air India Express operates a daily flight from Kozhikode to Doha and three weekly flights from Mangalore.

An attempt to strike a deal for using their air space is on as the curbs will hit passengers and create a ripple effect on the timing of some other flights as well. As more time means more fuel, airline companies operating flights to Doha from various destinations will be forced to pass on the burden to the passengers if there is no solution in sight, said an aviation expert.
07/06/17 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express