Saudia Airlines suspends all Qatar-bound flights

(Photo courtesy: Saudia Airlines)
Updated 05 June 2017
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Saudia Airlines suspends all Qatar-bound flights

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian Airlines, known locally as Saudia, has suspended all flights to Qatar, it said on its official Twitter account Monday.
Other airlines, including Emirates, Etihad Airways and Air Arabia, have also announced similar moves, while Qatar Airways has suspended flights to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism and of being pro-Iran.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) issued a decree prohibiting all Qatari airlines and Qatar Airways from landing at Saudi Arabian airports.
It is also preventing all private and commercial airlines registered in the Kingdom from operating in Qatar (on both direct and indirect flights).
GACA will also prevent all Qatari airlines and Qatar Airways from crossing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia starting from June 6, 2017, at 00:01 UTC.
All airlines and non-registered aircraft in the Kingdom or Qatar wishing to cross the Kingdom from Qatar should communicate with the GACA within a week to determine the necessary procedures for continued operation in Saudi airspace.
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways said on its official website Monday that it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia.
“Qatar Airways has suspended all flights to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” until 1159 GMT the same day, a statement from the airline said.
A spokeswoman said it was unclear if the suspension would be extended.
Qatar Airways flies to nine cities in Saudi Arabia.
UAE carriers Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai and Air Arabia all announced earlier on Monday they would suspend flights to Doha starting from Tuesday morning.
It was not immediately clear if Qatar Airways would also suspend flights to other countries.

– With input from AFP and Reuters


Turkey launches new gas drillship amid tensions with Cyprus

Updated 20 June 2019
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Turkey launches new gas drillship amid tensions with Cyprus

  • Turkey’s energy minister boarded the 230-meter (750-foot) vessel, the Yavuz, which can drill to an estimated depth of up to 12,000 meters (40,000 feet), in a ceremony on Thursday
  • EU leaders meeting in Brussels are mulling possible actions against Turkey

ISTANBUL: Turkey has launched a second drillship that will drill for gas off neighboring Cyprus’ east coast despite European Union warnings to refrain from such illegal actions or face sanctions.
Turkey’s energy minister boarded the 230-meter (750-foot) vessel, the Yavuz, which can drill to an estimated depth of up to 12,000 meters (40,000 feet), in a ceremony on Thursday.
Another Turkish drillship is already drilling 40 miles off EU member Cyprus’ west coast in waters where the ethnically divided island nation has exclusive economic rights. The Cypriot government condemned the Turkish action as a violation of international law and its sovereign rights.
EU leaders meeting in Brussels are mulling possible actions against Turkey. Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said that his country would defend its rights and those of breakaway Turkish Cypriots to the area’s energy reserves “until the end” and would continue drilling “without interruptions.” Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence.
In a dig at the 28-member EU, Donmez said Turkey rejects “attempts by actors from outside the region to delineate” the eastern Mediterranean.
He said the Yavuz will be drilling off Cyprus’ eastern coast in coming months.
Cyprus has divided its exclusive economic zone off its southern coast into 13 blocks, or areas. Turkey, which doesn’t recognize Cyprus as a state, says parts of three blocks off the island’s west coast fall within its own continental shelf. Turkish Cypriots claim most of seven blocks in the east.
The Cypriot government says any potential gas proceeds will be shared equitably with Turkish Cypriots after a reunification deal is agreed upon and has created a fund into which all such revenues will flow.