Sunday, June 18, 2017

'No Borders, Only Horizons' Qatar Ad Says Amid Shut Gulf Skies

A Qatar Airways ad called for open skies in a video with stretching horizons and embracing families after Gulf neighbors blocked their airspace to the state-owned carrier amid a diplomatic crisis.

“The sky: there should be no borders up here, only horizons,” the ad on YouTube says. “Travel goes beyond borders and prejudice.”

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5 to punish it for allegedly financing Islamic militants. Qatar denies the accusations.

The dispute leaves Qatar Airways banned from 18 regional destinations and forces it to take detours to avoid its neighbors’ airspaces. Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker asked the UN aviation agency to declare the blockade illegal.

Al Baker told Al Jazeera he is concerned the Gulf’s second-biggest carrier “will underperform.” Still, he has also said the airline will continue with its expansion plans, including adding 24 destinations.

“The world is all of ours to explore and it’s a strange thing for us to be apart,” the ad says. “It’s a right for all of us to go where we want to go.”

(Deena Kamel - Bloombreg News)

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