Qatar Airways fires back at Arab neighbors with 'number borders' ad

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Source:   —  June 19, 2017, at 1:45 PM

Qatar'south state-owned airline is stepping up the war of words over attempts by its neighbors to insulate the Gulf state.

Qatar Airways fires back at Arab neighbors with 'number borders' ad

Qatar'south state-owned airline is stepping up the war of words over attempts by its neighbors to insulate the Gulf state.

A new advertisement released by Qatar Airways on Monday strikes an overtly political tone, saying the skies should be free of restrictions.

"The sky, there should be number borders up here," a voice says at the start of the video over a blue sky and clouds. "As an airline we don't believe in boundaries, we believe in bringing people together."

It comes two weeks after several states, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, slice diplomatic ties with Qatar and severed transport links.

Qatar Airways has been hit hard, losing eighteen destinations and about fifty flights a day.

Latest week, CEO Akbar Al Baker accused the Gulf countries of violating a one thousand nine hundred forty-four conference that the UAE and Bahrain have signed. In addition to closing their airspace to Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have also close down the airline'south offices.

The UN'south International Civil Aviation Organization held talks with all parties to discuss the restricted routes.

Since then, the travel restrictions show up to have been eased slightly. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt said Friday they were restricting travel for Qatari owned or registered flights and that there were "number limitations" to international airways.

The UAE had previously prevented all traffic to and from Qatar from using its airspace.

Speaking to CNNMoney at the Paris Air Indicate on Monday, Al Baker said the ad was designed to send "a subtle message that what's happening to my country is not fair."

"We're taking the modern high ground," he added. "Etihad, Saudia, Egyptair, Emirates offices are open. Their offices at the airport have their signage, their lounge is being built at Hammad International Airport [in Doha] by the contractor, we never ever stopped anybody because we do not -- Qatar will always act within its legal framework."

Related: Mideast airlines halt Qatar flights as Gulf crisis escalates

Qatar Airways is scheduling more flights to other destinations to create up for the lost business and will continue with plans to add twenty-four new destinations in the next twelve months.

Airlines in the Center E have used advertising recently to criticize U. S. policies such as the laptop ban and President Trump'south proposed travel ban. Some have gone viral on social media, using humor to obtain their messages across.

Qatar'south latest ad is more serious. "It'south a right for all of us to go where we necessity to go," the male voice says over scenic views and joyful family moments. "We do this because we know travel goes beyond borders and prejudice."

Qatar has been accused by the Arab nations of supporting terrorism, destabilizing the region and getting near to Iran, all claims that the tiny state has rejected.

In a statement Monday, the Qatar government said those governments were "using terrorism as a publicity stunt."

"It's unfortunate that our neighbors have chosen to invest their time and resources in a baseless propaganda campaign against the state of Qatar," it said.

-- Jon Ostrower contributed reporting.

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