The government has asked Air India and Jet Airways to operate additional temporary flights to Doha to meet the massive demand ahead of Eid, due to a ban on Qatar carriers by some middle-eastern nations. Jet Airways will operate a 168-seater aircraft on June 22 and June 23 between Mumbai and Doha. Air India subsidiary Air India Express will be flying its 186-seater Boeing 737 on Thiruvananthapuram-Doha and Cochin- Doha routes from June 25 to July 8, a senior official of the ministry of civil aviation said. The move comes after Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj discussed the matter with Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju earlier this week. “All steps necessary for timely movement of our citizens from Doha will be ensured. I and @SushmaSwaraj ji are in touch on this issue,” Raju tweeted.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain had banned the use of their airspace for flights to and from Doha earlier this month and later revised the embargo saying it would apply only for Qatar operators. The restrictions on the use of airspace came while nine countries — Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Mauritius, Mauritania, Yemen, Libya’s eastern-based government and the Maldives — severed diplomatic ties with Qatar.