Business aviation is being impacted alongside commercial airlines as a result of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cutting government ties with Qatar, however, the exact impact isn’t clear.
One private aviation executive who did not want to be quoted by name said, “Things are changing by the hour.” Right now it appears that private jet users who want to fly from or to Qatar from the aforementioned countries still can still do so as long as they are not flying with aircraft registered in the impacted countries. For example, a Saudi registered private jet would not be allowed to fly to Qatar and a Qatari registered private jet couldn’t fly to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and so on.
Abu Dhabi-based Royal Jet and Qatar Executive, for example, are likely to feel the biggest impact whereas Arab Wings, a charter operator with jets registered in Jordan would be able to operate in the same way as operators with jets registered in the U.S. or EU countries.
For operators of private jets not registered in the impacted countries, three different executives said the severed relationships mean that planes now likely have to make a technical stop in a third country that isn’t part of the dispute. One executive said there are similar restrictions on travel to and from certain countries to Israel, so aside from the longer flight times and extra charges for an extra landing and takeoff, private aviation users should be able to continue to fly where they need..
While it wouldn’t be possible to fly from Doha to Riyadh or Dubai as examples since it was the Saudi and UAE governments cut ties, an executive said it’s unclear if after leaving from Saudi, Egypt, Bahrain or the UAE if one could then fly directly to Qatar. “So far, any permissions we’ve asked for have been denied,” he said.
The net result is that private jet users traveling to or from Qatar should try to avoid using aircraft registered in the impacted countries, plan on technical stops, added expense, and more circuitous routings.