A Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 – CC by Julian Herzog A Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 – CC by Julian Herzog

Qatar Airways’ new service to Kiev aims to compensate losses

Sat, Aug. 12, 2017
CAIRO – 12 August 2017: In an attempt to cover its losses due to the Arab boycott, Qatar Airways has reached an agreement to launch direct flights to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, starting August 28.

The Gulf carrier announced it will carry out seven weekly flights to Boryspil International Airport from the Qatari capital, Doha, replacing an earlier, uncompleted deal with Irish airline Ryanair.

The new announcement comes after the airline was forced to stop flights to 18 Middle East destinations due to the Arab quartet’s decision – including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain – to cut diplomatic and travel links with Qatar on June 5.

Ryanair had been in negotiations with Boryspil Airport since announcing in March that it planned new routes to Kiev and the west Ukrainian city of Lviv. The Irish airline said that it has cancelled those plans following Kiev Airport’s failure to honor terms agreed earlier this year.

"Kiev Airport has ... chosen to protect high-fare airlines and deprive Ukrainian consumers/visitors access to Europe's lowest air fares," Reuters quoted Ryanair as saying.

Ryanair said it has apologized and has contacted customers who booked flights to and from Ukraine for refunds.

The Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA), which is part-owned by powerful tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky, denied in a statement that it had been lobbying to prevent a deal between Ryanair and Boryspil.

The Qatari company aims to take advantage of the deteriorated economic conditions in Eastern European countries, with plans to extend services to Skopje in Macedonia and Prague in Czech Republic.

The company’s revenues have plunged into a severe decline following a land, sea and air embargo imposed by neighboring states Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, who have severed ties with the small state after accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Kiev is one of Eastern Europe’s oldest cities and an historic and cultural center, with stunning architecture and many museums and galleries showcasing the city’s centuries-long past.
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