Qatar Airways' CEO Akbar al-Baker accused neighboring Gulf States Thursday of "bullying" his country during the region's political crisis and said his company's profits would be hit by the dispute.
Baker insisted that Qatar could sustain the impact of what he called a blockade imposed on Doha, but conceded that an impact on profits was inevitable for the Gulf carrier.
"It has to (affect profits) because we have additional costs to operate in and out of the country," he said.
"And this is normal when you are blockading somebody. They will have additional costs to operate in and out of the region."
Pressed on how much of an impact there would be, Baker declined to give numbers.
Last month the airline announced profits of $540 million for the financial year to March 2017, a 22 percent increase on the previous 12-month period.
But the airline faces a hit after the June 5 decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to impose sanctions on Qatar, over accusations it supports Islamist extremism and was too close to Iran.
Among the sanctions was a decision to close the airspace of the countries to Qatar Airways.
This means the Doha-based carrier can no longer continue its lucrative services to Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and has to divert some flights on longer routes because of airspace restrictions.
After Qatar Airways CEO’s ‘grandmothers’ remark, end of American codeshare dealDays after Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker called US flight attendants as “grandmothers”, the feud between American Airlines Group Inc. ... Aviation & Transport
WATCH: Qatar Airways’ CEO calls American flight attendants ‘grandmothers’Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Officer Akbar al-Baker ridiculed his American competitors, saying there is no need to fly on ... Aviation & Transport
UK government allows British Airways to get strike cover from Qatar AirwaysThe British government says it will allow the lease by British Airways of some Qatar Airways planes and crew to help cover a 16-day strike by some UK ... Economy
American Airlines CEO says Qatar Airways offer ‘puzzling and concerning’In a letter to his staff, American Airlines Chief Executive Doug Parker said Qatar Airways’ offer to buy a 10 percent stake in the airline as ... Economy