Debt-laden Air India to start extra flights to Doha this week

Carrier aims to meet higher demand after some Gulf countries cut ties with Qatar.

New Delhi: Air India and Jet Airways will start additional flights to Doha from this week to bring back stranded Indian nationals, after some Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia cut ties with Qatar, a government statement said on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, the Arab world's biggest powers severed diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing it of support for Islamist militants and Iran. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt banned Qatari planes from landing and forbade them from crossing their air space.

National carrier Air India will run extra flights between the southern Indian city of Trivandrum and Doha from June 25-July 8, the statement said. Private Jet Air will operate Mumbai-Doha-Mumbai flights on June 22-23, it added.

The move is aimed at helping Indian nationals who were not able to get bookings but need to get back to India from Doha, the statement added.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj had previously said that New Delhi was committed to bring back any Indian stuck in Qatar.

( Source : reuters )
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