Passengers flying on Indian carriers to Qatar will face increased travel hours as airlines have been forced to take longer routes over Pakistan and Iran, amid airspace curbs in the Gulf region.
Jet Airways, Air India Express and IndiGo are now operating flights to Qatar’s capital Doha through Pakistan and Iran airspace following restrictions imposed by the UAE.
Apart from longer flying hours, the airlines would see a spike in costs for operating these flights due to higher fuel burn and the need for having additional human resources.
In a major diplomatic face-off in the Gulf region, Saudi Arabia and various other countries have severed their ties with Qatar, accusing the latter of extending support to extremists.
The development has impacted flight operations in the region with airspace restrictions in place and the UAE imposing curbs on flights to and from Doha using its airspace. As per official data, little over 28 lakh passengers flew to and from Indian cities and Doha in 2016.