Middle East diplomatic crisis threatens regional air freight operations

A spiraling diplomatic crisis in the Arab Gulf region is already snarling overland logistics along the Qatar-Saudi Arabia border, and regional freight forwarding is running into complications as Emirates and Etihad operations terminating in Doha grind to a halt. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen and Libya all announced that they were cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar today, which, on the aviation side, means denial of airspace rights to Qatar Airways. Without the ability to fly to these countries, or use their airspace, the move is likely to result in longer routes for Qatar Airways, higher fuel bills, and the potential for stranded freight.

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