Qatar Airways complains boycott forced suspension of planned Africa routes

The airline has admitted that the boycott has hit its profits (AFP/File)
Updated 27 February 2019

Qatar Airways complains boycott forced suspension of planned Africa routes

JEDDAH: Qatar Airways has been forced to suspend planned new routes to Africa because of pressure from a boycott over Doha’s links to extremist groups.

The airline said the sanctions by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt meant it “had to suspend some planned new destinations especially in West and Central Africa.”

Since the 2017 boycott, Qatari jets have been banned from the airspace of its three Gulf neighbors, forcing flights to carry out large detours.

The quartet of Arab nations cut transport, trade and diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing the country of hosting and funding terror groups an interfering in their internal affairs.

Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al-Baker, has previously blamed the boycott for his airline’s poor financial performance. In September, the airline said it suffered a $69 million loss for the financial year and said the severing of ties with other Arab countries was behind it falling into the red.


Rouhani says Iran budget set to resist US sanctions by curbing oil dependence

Updated 41 sec ago

Rouhani says Iran budget set to resist US sanctions by curbing oil dependence

  • Rouhani said the draft state budget was designed to resist US sanctions

TEHRAN: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday presented to parliament what he called a “budget of resistance” against crippling sanctions imposed by arch-enemy the United States.

“Next year, similar to the current year, our budget is a budget of resistance and perseverance against sanctions,” Rouhani told parliament in remarks broadcast on state radio.

“This budget announces to the world that despite sanctions we will manage the country, especially in terms of oil,” he added.

The budget for the financial year starting late March 2020 comes after fuel price hikes that were imposed in mid-November triggered deadly demonstrations across the Islamic republic.

In his speech, Rouhani announced a 15 percent increase for public sector wages in a country whose economy has been battered by US sanctions.

US President Donald Trump began imposing punitive measures in May 2018, after unilaterally withdrawing from an accord that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for limits on its nuclear program.

The International Monetary Fund has forecast that Iran’s economy will contract by 9.5 percent this year.