Qatar Airways announces $69 million revenue loss this year

FILE - In this April 24, 2017 file photo, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker speaks at a press conference during the Arabian Travel Market Exhibition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Qatar Airways said Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 that it suffered a loss of $69 million this year off revenue of $11.5 billion amid a boycott of Doha by four Arab nations. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2015, file photo, a Qatar Airways jet arriving from Doha, Qatar, approaches the gate at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Qatar Airways said Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 that it suffered a loss of $69 million this year off revenue of $11.5 billion amid a boycott of Doha by four Arab nations. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Qatar Airways suffered a $69 million loss this fiscal year, an over $800 million swing from the year before that the long-haul carrier blamed on the ongoing boycott of Doha by four Arab nations.

The loss by the flagship carrier shows the challenges still facing Qatar, a small, energy-rich nation that juts out like a thumb on the Arabian Peninsula. However, the airline struck a defiant tone while releasing its results for the fiscal year that ended March 31.

"This turbulent year has inevitably had an impact on our financial results, which reflect the negative effect the illegal blockade has had on our airline," Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker said in a statement Tuesday.

"However, I am pleased to say ... the impact has been minimized - and has certainly not been as negative as our neighboring countries may have hoped for," he added.

The Doha-based airline reported revenue of $11.5 billion in 2018. It also adjusted its profit in 2017 to $766 million off revenue of $10.7 billion, a result that didn't include the effect of the boycott that began June 5, 2017.

The boycott locked Qatar Airways out of the airspace of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, forcing the airline to take longer flights consuming more jet fuel, raising expenses. The carrier said 18 routes were "closed due to the illegal blockade."

Boycotting nations say the crisis stems from Qatar's support for extremist groups in the region, charges denied by Doha. Their demands include Qatar limiting diplomatic ties to Iran, shutting down the state-funded Al-Jazeera satellite news network and other media outlets, and severing ties to all "terrorist organizations," including the Muslim Brotherhood and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Mediation by Kuwait and the United States has failed to stop the boycott. America relies on Qatar's massive al-Udeid Air Base to host the forward headquarters of the U.S. military's Central Command.

Also, Qatar's vast natural gas reserves have so far insulated the nation. Work there continues ahead of Doha hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways continues to compete with the region's other marquee long-haul carriers, Dubai-based Emirates and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, in connecting the East and West.

___

Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellap . His work can be found at http://apne.ws/2galNpz .

Similar News

Rugby couple put respect in front and center in Olympics

Aug 10, 2016

Isadora Cerullo has become a celebrity around Rio, more for what happened on the sidelines of the Olympic rugby stadium than for her performances on the pitch

Kohl's 2Q profit tops expectations as it lowers expenses

Aug 11, 2016

Kohl's 2Q profit beat analysts' expectations as the department store operator reduced expenses and managed its inventory well

Global oil demand to cool, oversupply is ending, agency says

Aug 11, 2016

Global demand for oil will grow less than previously expected next year due to a weaker economy, though the oversupply of the market is ending, the International Energy Agency said Thursday

Broaden