Qatar says Gulf citizens can stay despite crisis

Austin Daniel
June 12, 2017

Qatar Airways says its net profits rose to Dollars 540 million in its latest financial disclosure before the airline took a hit and was blocked from flying to major Arab states.

The carrier, which marks its 20th anniversary this year and is one of the Middle East's biggest airlines, said revenue rose last year from $9.6 billion to $10.6 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31.

Sharif is expected to hold talks with Saudi leadership centered on deteriorating relations between Gulf nations after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Its net profits in 2016 stood at around $445 million.

Moscow on Saturday joined other nations in calling for a dialogue, after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Saudi Arabia and its allies to ease their "blockade" of Qatar.

With Qatar increasingly isolated from its Gulf neighbors in an escalating geopolitical crisis, the economic and financial implications are starting to emerge. The cancelled flights impact numerous airline's travelers who fly via to Doha to worldwide destinations.

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Qatar's port authority published video showing a container ship loaded down with cargo arriving at Doha's Hamad Port from Oman's port of Sohar to a water-cannon welcome.

Conde, who is president of Guinea which has close ties to Saudi Arabia, said in a letter to King Salman he had observed with "sadness" the feud between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours, which he described as "brother countries" of his Muslim-majority country.

"Our annual results once again reflect the success of our expansion and growth strategy", Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al-Baker said in a statement.

These include banning Qatar Airways from using their airspace, and Saudi Arabia also revoked Qatar Airways' licence to operate out of the kingdom.

Qatar Airways, which serves 150 destinations, launched 10 routes over the past financial year, including Adelaide, Atlanta and Helsinki.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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