uae closes down qatar airways
Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
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Egypt Today, egypt today
Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
Egypt Today, egypt today

UAE closes down Qatar Airways

Egypt Today, egypt today

Egypt Today, egypt today UAE closes down Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways offices
Abu Dhabi - Egypt Today

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has shut down all Qatar Airways offices in the country on Wednesday, a day after Saudi Arabia's General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) revoked the license of Qatar Airways and ordered its offices closed. 
In a statement released through WAM on Wednesday morning, the GCAA said: "The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority has taken the decision to close all offices of Qatar Airways in the United Arab Emirates with immediate effect." 
On Tuesday, fellow GCC state Bahrain also revoked Qatar Airways' licence and ordered its offices to be shut within 48 hours.
The Gulf states have also ordered Qataris to leave within 14 days and banned their own citizens from travelling to Qatar. Saudi Arabia has also closed its border with Qatar, the emirate's only land frontier, effectively blocking food imports and a segment of the country's exports.
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways has suspended all flights to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kingdom of Bahrain and Egypt until further notice.
A statement on its website reads: "All customers booked on affected flights will be provided with alternative options, including the option of a full refund on any unused tickets and free rebooking to the nearest alternative Qatar Airways network destination." 
Khaleej Times visited Qatar Airways office in Deira on Wednesday and saw exasperated passengers waiting outside. No airline staff was to be found, not even an office security.
A sticker was plastered on the wall saying: "This premises is closed by order of the Department of Economic Development. Please do not open until further notice." 
The airline announced on its website on Monday that passengers who booked flights with Qatar Airways will be given alternative options, including a full refund. 
But passengers said they have been calling the airline and they were put on hold for hours - following which some of them decided to personally visit the office. Others complained that they were not actually getting full refund; a Dh470 per booking is deducted as 'refund fee'.
Moreover, holiday plans were disrupted.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, an Emirati couple said their plan of spending the coming Eid holidays with their family in Poland has been affected.
"We bought return tickets to Poland via Doha for six of us in the family for just over Dh13,000 a couple of months ago. Now, we have to shell out double that amount just to go on with our vacation. We still haven't received our refund and we will also lose Dh2,820 as refund fee."
"We called Qatar Airways two days ago to get our refund and they promised us we will get it in two days. We called them again but we were put on hold for hours," the Emirati husband said.
A family of seven who was supposed to travel to Stockholm next month told Khaleej Times that they will lose Dh3,290 just to get the refund. "This is ridiculous," Indian expat Shekhar said. 
Ali from Egypt, who is planning to bring his wife to Italy this Eid, said he is also still waiting to get his refund. He narrated: "Two months back I got a return ticket for just Dh3,500. I've checked online with other airlines, because our travel date is near, now it's more than Dh5,000. I'm still holding on my tickets and I hope the situation would normalise soon." 
British expat Jo, who is travelling to Bali, Indonesia on Tuesday (June 13), complained: "Why would I be made to suffer? I've planned this trip long time ago and now I don't know if I can still find an available airline." 
Sarah from UK said she has been "exasperated with her numerous calls to Qatar Airways."
"I even tried to call their head office in Doha, but I was just put on hold for almost an hour. I came here (Qatar Airways office), despite the sweltering heat of probably around 45 degrees, just to speak to any staff, then I found their office closed and I didn't see anyone from the airline," Sarah said.
Irish expat Sinead said there is a long thread on their Facebook forum (British Mums Dubai) about the situation. "Only few were able to sort out their problems with Qatar Airways, but close to 90 per cent of our members complained that they're having a tough time reaching the airline," she said.
"This has become an awful hassle for me and my husband. We are supposed to travel back home by month's end and now we couldn't even get seats at a reasonable price," added Sinead. 

source: Khaleejtimes

 

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