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5 Jun, 2017 11:49

Arab states in the Persian Gulf suspend all flights to and from Qatar

Arab states in the Persian Gulf suspend all flights to and from Qatar

Major airlines on the Arabian Peninsula have announced they will stop flying to Qatar as the Gulf crisis deepens. All Qatari airlines have been banned from Saudi airspace.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing the country of supporting terrorism.

The UAE-based Emirates, Etihad, budget carrier flydubai, and Air Arabia have said they will stop flying between Dubai and Doha from Tuesday.

"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," Emirates said.

Flydubai issued a statement saying, "From Tuesday 06 June 2017 all flydubai flights between Dubai and Doha will be suspended."

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has also suspended all flights to Qatar, the company tweeted on Monday, without providing further details.

Saudi Arabia's General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said on Monday it had banned all Qatari planes from landing in the kingdom's airports and from its airspace. GACA also prohibited all Saudi commercial and private aviation operators from flying to Qatar.

Qatar Airways said on its website it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia. Qatar Airways flies to nine cities in the neighboring country.

Qatar's flagship carrier has not yet said if there would be changes to flights to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Cairo.

Qatar's stock market index plunged eight percent on Monday, with some of the market's top blue chips taking the hardest hit. Qatar Gas Transport Company and Qatar Fuel Company Q.S.C. both dropped more than 10 percent.

Egyptian authorities joined the Qatari flight ban.

“Egypt’s ban of Qatari flights to start at 6:00 am Cairo local time (4:00 am GMT) on Tuesday, and is in effect indefinitely,” Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement