Flights between Qatar and Saudi Arabia to resume for the first time in nearly 4 years

Jan 11, 2021

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It’s been more than three and a half years since a handful of Middle Eastern countries ended diplomatic relations with Qatar, severely impacting the country’s flag carrier, Qatar Airways, in the process.

The blockade came along with serious consequences for Doha, the country of Qatar and travellers looking to move around the region — and, now it’s over, almost as suddenly as it began.

It’s unclear exactly what prompted the countries involved to abruptly change their tune, and with almost immediate effect, but the result spells great news for travellers — in the Middle East and beyond.

Nonstop flights between Qatar and Saudi Arabia resume this week, shaving off many hours of extra travel time. Screenshot courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.

Now, the next phase of the process is about to begin, with the resumption of nonstop flights between Doha (DOH) and a handful of destinations in Saudi Arabia. Previously, while the two countries share a border, travelling between them required at least one connection and many hours of additional flight time.

Beginning Monday afternoon, Qatar Airways and Saudia will both resume service, with the former flying from Doha to Riyadh (RUH) at 1:45 p.m. local time, with an Airbus A350-1000, and the latter relaunching service at 4:40 p.m. local time, with an Airbus A320.

Later this week, Qatar Airways will resume service from Doha to Dammam (DMM) and Jeddah (JED), while Saudia will once again offer nonstop flights from Jeddah. Eventually, nonstop service should resume to Bahrain (BAH), Cairo (CAI) and destinations in the UAE, including Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Dubai (DXB), as well.

Featured photo by Liam Spencer/The Points Guy.

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