The airspace blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates has now ended after several years. This means faster flight times on Qatar Airways flights.
Since the start of the blockade, the oneworld alliance airline had to route around the closed airspace. That resulted in longer flight times, more fuel consumed and it was worse for the environment.
Faster Flight Times
Quite a bit of time is saved due to the changes. For example, a flight from Sydney to Doha saves 25 minutes in the air. Not much saving on a 15 hour journey you might think, but considering how fast planes fly it’s quite a big saving.
This will impact the majority of the Qatar Airways network, so passengers will save time. I imagine it won’t be overly welcomed by people in business class as much (as their business class is that good!), but even so, it is a win.
Stations that had ceased having service are also returning. For example, Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam in Saudi Arabia all restart the week commencing 11 January 2021. UAE and Egypt will also eventually come back.
As time progresses, other places should also return, such as Khartoum, which was dropped as most of the flight was through closed airspace. It will be interesting to see what returns and when.
Along with faster flight times, the network will also return to normal. All of this means that Qatar Airways, who have continued flying during the pandemic, are poised to reap the benefits once travel rebounds.
From a purely environmental perspective, the removal of this blockade is a good thing. The other benefits such as cost savings and faster flight times are just nice to have.
Have you received a flight change from Qatar Airways reducing your flight time? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Mohammed Tawsif Salam via Wikimedia Commons.