Qatar Airways??

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by Dee S, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Dee S

    Dee S AH Veteran

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    Ok, newbie inquiring about Qatar Airways.
    We have put down our deposit for our trip for June of 2018. We will be hunting with Roy van der Merwe and his Otjandaue Safaris in Namibia.
    We will be flying out of Houston (IAH) and would prefer to fly into Windhoek (WDH) with only one stop.
    Qatar Airways now has that flight at a great price, $1040 roundtrip, per person, with a 9 hour layover in Doha.
    Looking online at their baggage regulations, looks like we are allowed two checked bags apiece, up to 70 pounds each, with a size restriction of 62 inches. The 70 pounds is nice and the 62 inches is pretty much the industry standard. As of today, we have NOT purchased airline tickets.
    We are not traveling with firearms, archery equipment only, but our SKB double bow cases are over the 62 inches.
    I know we won't have any issues with the weight, but I am concerned about the oversize bow cases. Has anyone flown with this airline? If so, any issues, good or bad? How was the flight service? Any recommendations?
    We are planning on staying in the hotel that is within the airport at Doha for the layover. Again, I welcome any input.
    It's our first trip to Africa and we're really looking forward to it.
     
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  2. Bruce

    Bruce AH Elite

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    Qatar is a fine airline service.
    Not sure about this heir strictness on baggage size, by the rest is very ok
     

  3. jasyblood

    jasyblood BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I believe @50by50 flew Qatar Airways to Namibia not that long ago with guns/bows. So, maybe he can shed some light on this when he gets back.

    I'm flying Qatar to Namibia in November and am also curious to see what he has to say.
     

  4. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    Can't help you with Qatar, but just flew Emirates and was just in the UAE. As you my have heard Qatar is under pressure from UEA ,Saudi Arabia and others. As such they will not let Qatar fly over their airspace, which is going to add time to the Qatar flight, however with 9 hours that should not matter. There are other problems between those countries, their is lots of Sabre-Rattling going on right now, Qatar nationals have been expelled from the UAE. The Qatar flight will give you some AA or BA miles.

    Read here before you spend your money:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...e-biggest-victim-in-gulf-diplomatic-breakdown

    Hopefully, it will be all over by next year.


    Qatar Airways Ambitions Threatened by Gulf Diplomatic Breakdown

    Over the past two decades, Qatar Airways has grown from a regional player into a world-straddling colossus, with flights to more than 150 destinations, some of the industry’s newest planes, and ambitious plans for overseas alliances. The diplomaticspat between Qatar and its Middle East neighbors threatens to scuttle those ambitions.

    On Monday, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates suspended ties with Qatar, shutting down flights and maritime links to the country. That will force state-owned Qatar Air to ground more than 50 daily departures--or about 10 percent of its total--according to scheduling firm OAG.

    The carrier operates a shuttle to Dubai 14 times daily, as well as frequent flights to Riyadh, Cairo, and more than a dozen other destinations in the countries imposing the blockade. If the ban continues, Qatar Air’s revenue could fall by 30 percent due to lost traffic and idled planes, the cost of diverting flights, a decline in premium bookings, and a possible slump in leisure demand, consultancy Frost & Sullivan estimates.

    Plans to bar Qatari jets from entering airspace over the countries involved in the dispute--especially neighboring Saudi Arabia--could be even more problematic, inflating expenses by forcing significant diversions and putting the viability of some routes in jeopardy, according to Martin Consulting, an airline advisory firm in Dubai.

    “Diverting around closed airspace means higher fuel costs and longer flight times,” said Mark Martin, the firm's chief. “Destinations in Africa and across the Indian Ocean may no longer be sustainable.”

    The Saudi ban on flights was introduced Monday, with the airspace restrictions to take effect on Tuesday. Egypt and Bahrain have also said that Qatari carriers will be barred from overflights, though the U.A.E. has indicated that its airspace will remain open. Qatar Air declined to comment, beyond saying that it has suspended service to the four countries.

    • QuickTake Q&A: Why Tiny Qatar Angers Saudi Arabia and Its Allies
    Other regional airlines will also take a hit, though not as dramatically as Qatar. Dubai-based Emirates and FlyDubai, Etihad Airways PJSC of Abu Dhabi, and Air Arabia of Sharjah were set to cease flights to Doha on June 6. Saudi Arabian Airlines, Egyptair, and Bahrain-based Gulf Air will also halt services; all told, those carriers will cancel about two dozen daily departures, according to OAG.

    Etihad and Emirates—which last year began deploying an Airbus SE A380 superjumbo for some Doha services—could see their revenue fall by as much as 15 percent if the ban continues, according to Frost & Sullivan. Qatar Air code-share partners such as British Airways and American Airlines could also be hurt by the measures, the consultancy says.

    Earnings at Qatar Air, like other Gulf carriers, are already being squeezed as the low price of crude weighs on economic growth in the region and hurts demand for travel among oil-industry executives. And an American ban on people using laptops aboard U.S.-bound flights amid concern about potential terrorist attacks is also taking a toll on business-class demand.

    More than 10 percent of all seats in and out of Qatar are on flights involving the four nations imposing the ban, said Diogenis Papiomytis, director of aerospace at Frost & Sullivan, with most passengers who use those links transferring to or from the long-haul services that make up the bulk of Qatar Air’s earnings. On routes between Qatar and the U.A.E., 80 percent of passengers have an origin or final destination beyond the two countries, according to Papiomytis, who said the measures represent a “major headache” for route planners at all carriers concerned.

    “The network impact is huge; the financial impact depends on the length of closures,” he said.

    The disruption is dealing a blow to the plans of Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Air’s chief executive officer, who has overseen construction of a gleaming new hub in Doha and has said he wants to strengthen ties to overseas carriers. Qatar Air owns 20 percent of British Airways parent IAG SA and 10 percent of South America’s biggest carrier, LatAm Airlines Group SA, deals that Al Baker says can help cut costs on purchases of planes and other supplies.

    Qatar Air has expressed interest in Royal Air Maroc, it’s negotiating the purchase of a 49 percent stake in Italy’s Meridiana SpA, and Al Baker has said he aims to set up an airline in India with a fleet of 100 narrow-body planes. Before the blockade, the carrier had planned to add more than two dozen new routes this year and next.

    “We see there is potential for us in many other regions and cities,” Al Baker told Bloomberg Television in April. “We have a lot of other opportunities, a lot of other new markets.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2017

  5. Dee S

    Dee S AH Veteran

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    Wow, thanks for the heads up, I had no idea on the turf war. Just watched the video and read the article on that link you posted.
     

  6. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I had some friends in Houston that flew Qatar b-class to Joburg via Doha a few years ago and raved about it. It was half the cost of Delta, so the savings paid for the the rest of the trip. You can look at other options such as Houston to Frankfurt to Windhoek. The Frankfurt to Windhoek leg will be on Air Namibia. I have flown them from Luanda, Angola to Windhoek and had no problems. If you can get a United or Lufthansa flight from Houston to Frankfurt, with a reasonable connection time, this might make another good option for you.

    With the current geo-politics going on with Qatar and the rest of the Arab world, I'd wait until early next year to book your tickets, if you are going with Qatar Airway.

    The Arabs are mad at Qatar for making nice with Iran and recently congratulated the winner in the Iranian elections. Qatar and Iran are co-developers of the largest gas field in the world, so they need to get along.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northfield-qatar-idUSTRE66P1VV20100726
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Pars_/_North_Dome_Gas-Condensate_field


    Factbox: Qatar, Iran share world's biggest gas field

    The world's biggest gas field is shared between Iran, which calls its share South Pars, and Qatar, owner of the North Field (also known as the North Dome).

    Qatar has brought in international firms and used the field to become the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), whereas Iran's development of South Pars has been hampered by protracted delays, in part because of international sanctions.

    Iran and Qatar are respectively holders of the world's second and third largest natural gas reserves, behind Russia.

    Their South Pars/North Field gas field holds an estimated 50.97 trillion cubic meters of in-situ gas and some 50 billion barrels of condensates, according to the International Energy Agency.

    It covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, of which 3,700 square kilometers (South Pars) is in Iranian territorial waters and 6,000 square kilometers (North Field) is in Qatari territorial waters.

    The following brings together facts on Qatar's North Field.

    LNG PRODUCTION

    LNG production in Qatar is divided between two companies, Qatargas and Rasgas. State oil company Qatar Petroleum (QP) owns a majority stake in both, with international oil companies holding smaller stakes in individual production trains.

    RasGas is 70 percent-owned by QP and 30 percent-owned by ExxonMobil (XOM.N), while Qatargas is owned by a consortium including QP, Total (TOTF.PA), ExxonMobil, Mitsui (8031.T), Marubeni (8002.T), ConocoPhillips (COP.N) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L).

    Qatar Gas Transport Company (known as "Nakilat", meaning "carriers" in Arabic) provides ships to transport Qatar's LNG. LNG, natural gas cooled to liquid form for export by tanker, is produced in large facilities known as trains.

    EXPANSION

    Qatar expects to reach a goal of having the capacity to liquefy 77 million tonnes of natural gas annually by the end of the year, concluding a massive expansion plan that has made it the world's top LNG exporter only 14 years after shipping its first cargo.

    MORATORIUM

    In 2005 Qatar declared a moratorium on development of the North Field, to give the country time to study the impact of such a rapid increase in output on the reservoir.

    The moratorium, expected to last until 2014, applies only to the Qatari side and not the Iranian side. Qatar's priority is to ensure the reservoir's longevity, it energy minister said in January.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2017
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  7. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Nice to see someone informed on this. Qatar has a long troubled history with the interior Arabs of the Arabian peninsula. That plays out in modern Gulf politics. They were also historic traders and pirates on the Gulf which brought them into periodic conflict with the various Emirates. That also plays out in the current geo-political environment.

    When we were looking for a more or less permanent forward base for CENTCOM, the Saudis were typically reluctant to support forward positioning any more of our force structure than they already had. And frankly, we weren't entirely thrilled to commit more permanent party to life in the Kingdom. I was part of the negotiating team that cut the deal for the Doha airbase - a nearly fully developed base which Qatar essentially gave us for our use. By doing so, they pretty effectively protected themselves from any overt action by their Arab neighbors. The natural gas field in the Gulf is, indeed, a joint development project between Qatar and Iran. That deal tends to protect them from Iranian mischief. All in all, pretty deft diplomacy for a tiny country surrounded by numerous larger and more powerful neighbors. We have been fairly tolerant of Qatari financial support to Palestinians - they make up almost a half of Qatar's expat population. And, we of course, need the CENTCOM base. The President's recent negative comments about Qatar opened the door for the Saudis and Emirates to take some long restrained punitive action - though it has nothing to do about their supposed support of Hamas and everything about the two Arab states wanting to exercise some long withheld payback. We were once a little more sophisticated about managing that sort of thing.

    I am flying Emirates in October; I foresee no issues with them. As Ruger Fan suggests, I might wait six months or so on a Qatar flight reservation just to ensure things settle back down to the normal level of tension between the Arab states.
     

  8. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I am flying with them at the end of July not to worried. They are even giving us a room for the layover.
     

  9. Mike B

    Mike B AH Enthusiast

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    I'm flying in Sept, but can't an update till then. 50by50 had sent me a message about his experience, and the only negative was around paperwork for a firearm. I've talked to a few friends that flew qatar in the past for vacations (not safari) and they had nothing but good to say.

    The current geopolitical situation certainly is something to look at. I called the airline and so far our flights aren't impacted, but I'm assuming our flight path will be longer to fly around newly restricted airspace.
     

  10. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    A couple of other things to think about. The flight from the United States to the Gulf States is very long and quite miserable in Eco. Qatar changed their Eco from 9 across to 10 across, just like the other two Gulf States carriers. (Read tight seats). While that $1040 fare in tempting, you might want to wait based on my and other posts above. Another thing you might want to look at while not 1 stop is Premium Eco on BA or Lufthansa. Its a lot more comfortable and not as expensive as Business. I saved some money a couple of weeks ago, purchasing a "cheap" Emirates ticket and was just miserable. So miserable, I paid a $1000 each (3) to upgrade to Business on the return. Money well spent, completely lay flat bed, real food, and top end booze and wine and CLEAN restrooms. And most importantly, restrooms not shared with Economy. The Economy restrooms on the way over became so nasty, that they had to close 2 of them and the others were still disgusting.
     
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  11. Dee S

    Dee S AH Veteran

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    WOW, thanks for the tip. I just went to British Airways. IF I could book it now, I can't because they aren't booking for all of June 2018 yet, I could get the Premium Economy for $984 round trip....

    It's an extra stop, but about the same time total, and for sure a lot more comfortable. I'll be calling them tomorrow. And tomorrow I'll look into the other airlines as well.

    Thanks
     

  12. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    BA has 2 flights a day in and out of Jo'berg from LHR, one on a A380 and the other on a B747. The A380 is a more comfortable flight then the 747. Also BA will be cheaper out of IAH then DFW or AUS.
     

  13. Lrntolive

    Lrntolive AH Fanatic

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    I flew BA from Denver for my trip and they are a fantastic airline. My bow case and luggage was checked all the way through to Windhoek. No need to stop anywhere so they can inspect the bow case. Good luck on the flights.
     

  14. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Just read where Qatar wants to buy 10% of American Airlines. Another strategic move?
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/business/dealbook/qatar-airways-american-airlines.html


    In Qatar Airways, American Airlines May Have an Unwanted Suitor

    Akbar al-Baker, the chief executive of Qatar Airways, recently approached his counterpart at American Airlines, a bitter rival, with some news: His state-owned company wanted to buy a 10 percent stake in American.

    The unexpected and bold approach, disclosed by American on Thursday, underscored the broad ambitions of Qatar Airways, which has grown from a small regional player focused on the Middle East to a global carrier with flights to 150 destinations.

    But the move also was certain to intensify a long-running debate in Washington about whether airlines based in the Persian Gulf have an unfair advantage. American, with other major domestic carriers, say Qatar and other Gulf airlines receive large government subsidies that violate international agreements. Domestic carrier executives have appealed to President Trump and Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson to push back against the Gulf countries.

    Qatar’s proposed investment could be limited, as a 10 percent stake would require approval from American’s board. Doug Parker, the company’s chief executive, said in an interview that the proposed investment would only “intensify our opposition” to any subsidies given to the Gulf carrier.

    “We’re a bit bewildered as to why Qatar is interested in investing in American Airlines, given the very public and aggressive position we’ve taken about their business model,” he said.

    Qatar Airways’ approach also adds a complication to the United States’ increasingly troubled relationship with Qatar, the tiny but wealthy Persian Gulf Arab emirate that borders Saudi Arabia and is home to the largest American military air base in the Middle East. Qatar is in the midst of a crisis ignited by a feud with Saudi Arabia, which imposed an embargo against Qatar this month over accusations that Qatar supports terror groups.

    Mr. al-Baker, the Qatar Airways executive, first proposed the investment during a brief conversation with Mr. Parker at an airline industry conference this month in Mexico, according to Matt Miller, a spokesman for American Airlines. Qatar then notified federal agencies, as required by antitrust law, and American disclosed the proposal Thursday.

    In a statement, the gulf carrier described the potential purchase as a “strong investment opportunity” and promised not to involve itself in operations.

    “Qatar Airways believes in American Airlines’s fundamentals and intends to build a passive position in the company with no involvement in management, operations or governance,” the statement said.

    American’s stock gained about 1 percent in trading Thursday, closing at $48.97 a share.

    Qatar Airways said it planned to initially buy 4.75 percent of American’s stock on the public market, a stake worth about $1.1 billion. To buy more than 4.75 percent, the gulf carrier would need the approval of American’s board.

    But even a small smaller investment — about $81 million — would set off a Justice Department review, raising questions about how the Trump administration would handle Qatar’s move. Other agencies, like the Treasury Department and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an interagency group, could also review the investment.

    Members of Congress have been skeptical about such deals. Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader in the Senate, said on Thursday that Qatar’s move should be carefully scrutinized by the Justice Department in particular.

    “I hope and expect D.O.J. will review this proposal with a fine tooth comb, looking at every possible way this could impact the U.S. — from economic factors to market competitiveness to national security,” Mr. Schumer said.

    Several domestic carriers, including American Airlines, have complained to the Trump administration and Congress, saying that the Persian Gulf airlines receive subsidies from their government backers. The money, the American companies wrote in a letter to Secretary Tillerson, has allowed such companies “to operate without concern for turning a profit” and “therefore focus entirely on stripping market share and driving out competition.”

    If federal officials side with airlines based in the United States, officials could limit the number of flights the Gulf airlines could schedule for the American market.

    The American carriers have echoed Mr. Trump’s “America First” rhetoric, saying foreign carrier subsidies hurt the country’s job market. “For every long-haul route lost or foregone as a result of subsidized gulf carrier competition, more than 1,500 American jobs are lost,” the letter in February said.

    Captain Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, a union group, said pilots were worried that Qatar was trying to undermine the aviation industry.

    “It’ll be up to the president to decide when the line of the ‘America First’ philosophy is crossed,” he said.

    Mr. Trump has acknowledged the dispute, but the administration’s stance is not clear. In February, the president told airline executives, “I know you’re under pressure from a lot of foreign elements and foreign carriers.” But he added: “We want to make life good for them also.”

    Representatives for the White House and the Commerce, State, Treasury and Justice Departments would not comment on the proposed deal or on whether it might come under review of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

    Qatar Airways has repeatedly denied that it is subsidized by the Qatari government.

    Supporters of the Gulf airlines have emphasized the economic activity the carriers provide to the United States. The U.S. Travel Association, a tourism trade group, released an analysis last week showing Emirates, Etihad and Qatar ferried 1.7 million passengers who might not have otherwise traveled to the United States to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities in 2016.

    The Gulf airlines connect “underserved and unserved parts of the globe and deliver travelers to the U.S. who want to spend money and conduct business,” said Jonathan Grella, an executive vice president at the travel organization.

    Qatar Airways has also been severely affected by the recent diplomatic flare-up in the Gulf, with Saudi Arabia and four other Arab states cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar. Mr. Trump added to the crisis by emphatically siding with the Saudis on Twitter — even as his own diplomats appeared to disagree.

    The embargo has resulted in thousands of canceled flights in Qatar Airways’s home region. The airline can no longer fly to Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. Mr. al-Baker has called the embargo a “lasting wound.”

    The company faces other challenges as well. Travel to the United States from the Middle East is expected to fall up to 20 percent this summer for multiple reasons, including Mr. Trump’s attempts to enact a travel ban for citizens from several predominantly Muslim countries. The Trump administration has also barred passengers on incoming flights from 10 Muslim-majority companies from carrying onboard any electronic devices larger than a cellphone.

    Still, the airline has plans to bolster its presence in the United States, where it flies to 10 cities.

    If Qatar is able to deepen its relationship with American after acquiring a stake as planned, the Gulf carrier could offer its passengers easy access to American’s network in the United States, said John Strickland, an aviation consultant in London.

    “This is quite clearly an important market for them, and one they’re increasingly expanding into,” he said.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2017

  15. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    I read that yesterday, Qatar also has a stake in the Parent of BA too. Not surprising that they would want to buy into other One World airlines.
     

  16. Dee S

    Dee S AH Veteran

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    Yes, we are planning on flying out of Houston. Just got to work, will be researching today.
     

  17. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    A Qatar update:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...-issues-qatar-with-13-demands-to-end-blockade

    Qatar given 10 days to meet 13 sweeping demands by Saudi Arabia

    Gulf dispute deepens as allies issue ultimatum for ending blockade that includes closing al-Jazeera and cutting back ties with Iran

    Saudi Arabia and its allies have issued a threatening 13-point ultimatum to Qatar as the price for lifting a two-week trade and diplomatic embargo of the country, in a marked escalation of the Gulf’s worst diplomatic dispute in decades.

    The onerous list of demands includes stipulations that Doha close the broadcaster al-Jazeera, drastically scale back cooperation with Iran, remove Turkish troops from Qatar’s soil, end contact with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and submit to monthly external compliance checks. Qatar has been given 10 days to comply with the demands or face unspecified consequences.

    Saudi Arabia and the other nations leading the blockade – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt – launched an economic and diplomatic blockade on the energy-rich country a fortnight ago, initially claiming the Qatari royal family had licensed the funding of terrorism across the Middle East for decades. Since then, the allies appear to be pushing for the isolation of Iran and the suppression of dissenting media in the region.

    The list of demands, relayed to Qatar via mediators from Kuwait, represents the first time Saudi Arabia has been prepared to put the bloc’s previously amorphous grievances in writing. Their sweeping nature would, if accepted, represent an effective end to Qatar’s independent foreign policy. According to one of the points, Qatar would have to “align itself with other Arabs and the Gulf, militarily, politically, socially and economically, as well as in financial matters”.

    The UAE’s foreign secretary, Anwar Gargash, insisted the anti-Qatar alliance is not seeking to impose regime change. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that Qatar will see the demands as the basis for serious negotiations.

    Qatar has become reliant on Turkey and Iran for food imports since the embargo was imposed on 5 June and insists with its huge wealth it can survive the embargo for an indefinite period.

    Gargash blamed Qatar for the “childish” leak of its 13 demands and called it either an “attempt to undermine serious mediation or yet another sign of callous policy.

    “It would be wiser that [Qatar] deal seriously with the demands and concerns of the neighbours or a divorce will take place,” he said.

    Qatar faces a choice of either stability and prosperity or isolation, he said, adding: “Perhaps the solution is in parting ways.”

    In a sign that the UK does not regard the demands as reasonable, foreign secretary Boris Johnson said on Friday: “Gulf unity can only be restored when all countries involved are willing to discuss terms that are measured and realistic.

    “The UK calls upon the Gulf states to find a way of de-escalating the situation and lifting the current embargo and restrictions which are having an impact on the everyday lives of people in the region.”

    US policy towards Qatar so far has been marked by confusion. President Donald Trump has appeared to take credit for the Saudi embargo and described Qatar as a haven for terrorism. By contrast, the State Department under Rex Tillerson has twice upbraided Saudi Arabia’s approach to Qatar and questioned its true motives in sparking the diplomatic crisis.

    In recent days the State Department has been pressing Saudi to specify the actions Qatar must take to see the embargo lifted, but warned that those demands need to be “reasonable and actionable”.

    On Friday a White House spokesman told the Guardian: “The United States is still accessing the list and we are in communication with all parties. As we have said, we want to see the parties resolve this dispute and restore unity among our partners in the region, while ensuring all countries are stopping funding for terrorist groups.”

    The State Department spokesperson also declined to take a position on the specific Saudi demands, focusing instead on the need for the involved parties to resolve the dispute themselves through dialogue.

    “We understand the Kuwaitis, in their mediation capacity, have delivered a list of demands to the Qataris,” a spokesperson said. “We encourage all parties to exercise restraint to allow for productive, diplomatic discussions.”

    The US has a major military base in Qatar and risks seeing Qatar forced into an alliance with Iran if its enforced isolation continues, an outcome that would be a major strategic blow to Washington as well as a further threat to the security of the region.

    Qatar’s UN ambassador, Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani, said the allegations that her country supports terrorism are “sabotaging our relationship with the world, with the west, tarnishing our reputation in a way by using the terrorism card”.

    She said: “The blockade they have imposed is illegal. They used the terrorism card as a way of attracting attention. But the main objectives are more about criticising our media, al-Jazeera, and our openness.”

    Al-Thani added: “We are small, but we have integrity.” She said on US broadcaster CBS that she believed the Saudi positioning was softening, but not that of the UAE. She hopes for a resolution but fears a prolonged chill: “They continue to escalate even though both Kuwait and the United States are playing an important role. We are confident of the US position toward the blockade.”

    Al-Jazeera has condemned the call for its closure as “nothing but an attempt to end freedom of expression in the region, and suppress the right to information”.

    Rachael Jolley, the editor of Index on Censorship, said: “From its treatment of blogger Raif Badawi to its tightly controlled media environment, the Saudi authorities must not be able to dictate access to information for the public in other countries. Al-Jazeera must not be used as a bargaining chip.”

    But the Saudi-led alliance regards the Arabic wing of al-Jazeera, the most widely watched broadcaster in the Arab world, as a propaganda tool for Islamists that also undermines support for their governments. The list of demands also called for other Doha-supported news outlets to be shut, including the New Arab and Middle East Eye.

    Other key demands mapped out by Saudi include Qatar severing all ties with terrorist groups, specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, al-Qaida and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. The ultimatum calls for the handing over of designated terrorists and other individuals by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. All contacts with the political opposition inside Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain would have to be halted with all files handed over that detail Qatar’s prior contacts with, and support for, opposition groups.

    Qatar’s links with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s main adversary, would have to be confined only to trade allowed under the international sanctions regime and approved by the Gulf Co-operation Council.

    Cutting ties to Iran would prove incredibly difficult – Qatar shares with Iran a massive offshore natural gas field, which supplies the small nation that will host the 2022 Fifa World Cup with much of its wealth.

    Qatar insists it does not fund terrorists, and has previously said that the embargo is a punishment for following an independent foreign policy more sympathetic to the principles of the Arab spring than that of its neighbours.

    Qatar would also be required to accept monthly external audits after agreeing to the demands, then once per quarter during the second year. It would also have to agree to be monitored annually for compliance for 10 years.

    Turkey’s defence minister rejected suggestions that Doha should review its military base in Qatar and said demands for its closure represent interference in Ankara’s relations with the Gulf state.

    Speaking on Thursday, before the 13 demands were tabled, Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, said his country had always abided by international laws and played a key role in the international coalition fighting Isis.

    Additional reporting by Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington

    The 13 demands in full
    1. Curb diplomatic ties with Iran and close its diplomatic missions there. Expel members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and cut off any joint military cooperation with Iran. Only trade and commerce with Iran that complies with US and international sanctions will be permitted.
    2. Sever all ties to “terrorist organisations”, specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, al-Qaida and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Formally declare those entities as terrorist groups.
    3. Shut down al-Jazeera and its affiliate stations.
    4. Shut down news outlets that Qatar funds, directly and indirectly, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed and Middle East Eye.
    5. Immediately terminate the Turkish military presence in Qatar and end any joint military cooperation with Turkey inside Qatar.
    6. Stop all means of funding for individuals, groups or organisations that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, the US and other countries.
    7. Hand over “terrorist figures” and wanted individuals from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain to their countries of origin. Freeze their assets, and provide any desired information about their residency, movements and finances.
    8. End interference in sovereign countries’ internal affairs. Stop granting citizenship to wanted nationals from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Revoke Qatari citizenship for existing nationals where such citizenship violates those countries’ laws.
    9. Stop all contacts with the political opposition in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain. Hand over all files detailing Qatar’s prior contacts with and support for those opposition groups.
    10. Pay reparations and compensation for loss of life and other, financial losses caused by Qatar’s policies in recent years. The sum will be determined in coordination with Qatar.
    11. Consent to monthly audits for the first year after agreeing to the demands, then once per quarter during the second year. For the following 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance.
    12. Align itself with the other Gulf and Arab countries militarily, politically, socially and economically, as well as on economic matters, in line with an agreement reached with Saudi Arabia in 2014.
    13. Agree to all the demands within 10 days of it being submitted to Qatar, or the list becomes invalid.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2017

  18. Dee S

    Dee S AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
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    Hunted:
    Texas, Wyoming, Kansas, Alaska, Namibia
    Interesting. We just have to sit back and see how it plays out. In the meantime, I'm really looking into British Airways and the premium economy seating. Seems like an affordable upgrade worth the cost.
     

  19. 50by50

    50by50 AH Veteran

    Joined:
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    Hey guys- just got home yesterday with qatar.

    I won't fly with them again.

    Pro's:
    - very nice planes.
    - I thought the food and service was great

    Cons:
    - they were thrown completely by my rifle. Missed my Chicago to Qatar flight because I didn't have the correct paperwork to bring it on Qatar but they helped me with the paperwork and to catch my flight from Qatar to Windhoek by routing me through Ammon Jordan. Super helpful and they had someone waiting for me in Jordan to make the process easier but qatar air can only do so much. The police in jordan AND Qatar spent over an hour each going over my rifle, bino's, spotter, bullets, range finder, etc and I'm not convinced getting it through is a sure thing. There was a lot of discussion going on As they looked at my gear that I couldn't understand, but from gestures and tone, I could tell there was strong discomfort from some of the guys even though I had the right paperwork.

    - I found the culture uncomfortable. I felt uncomfortable in the airports. As a Christian, I didn't feel 100% safe even though everyone completely ignored us. I felt uncomfortable with how the Arab people trashed the plane- like crumbs and food all over the seats and floor of this brand new, gorgeous plane.

    - biggest thing: the Qatar rep wouldn't let me take my $5000 rifle home! She said I didn't have the proper documentation that the rifle is mine so she wouldn't let it go. I pushed her on it and she said the police in Qatar are just looking for a reason to take your gun so the risk was too high.

    The police at the airport wouldn't let my outfitter take the gun, and they said I'd be detained if I missed my flight to work things out as my temporary visa was ended. That's not a Qatar air issue but All in all it was just a very stressful, unenjoyable trip through the Arab countries on Qatar airways and I would never put myself through it again.

    Granted- it would have been much better if I wasn't taking a gun and had done better research. I was told by my outfitter it was easy and to just bring one document- which I brought- and that proved to be far from the case. But even with that- the added security, having to box your laptop and check it, etc was just miserable.

    The flight from Chicago to Qatar was 15 hours. The flight from Qatar to Windhoek was 9 hours. Add in the flight from SLC to Chicago and the 10 hour layovers in Qatar and it was a sucky time.

    I would strongly suggest going through Johannesburg or Europe. That's what I'll do next time.
     

  20. Lrntolive

    Lrntolive AH Fanatic

    Joined:
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    Member of:
    RMEF, SCI, NRA, WCF&W
    Sorry to hear about that 50. My good buddy who flew with me to Namibia said he wouldn't fly on a Muslim airline so we booked BA. He'd had enough as a Ranger fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq I guess.

    I really hope you got your rifle back.
     

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