The Indian government has asked domestic carriers Air India and Jet Airways to increase the number of flights on the Thiruvananthapuram-Doha and Doha-Cochin sectors to meet the surge of passengers ahead of Eid.
This move comes in the backdrop of a blanket ban on Qatar carriers to and fro by major middle-eastern countries (and vice versa) which have led to fewer connecting flights from the city of Doha.
Nine countries – Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Mauritius, Mauritania, Yemen, Libya’s eastern-based government and the Maldives – cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar which included the use of airspace.
Jet Airways will operate a 168-seater aircraft on June 22 and June 23 between Mumbai and Doha, while 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, said a senior official from the civil aviation ministry.
Many Indian expats rely on Gulf airways and connecting flights through the middle east during summer and Eid holidays. However, post the siege, expats in Qatar are only left with direct flights by Qatar Airways, Jet Airways, Air India Express, Indigo and connecting flights by Oman Air.