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Why this guy is claiming credit for our now extra long flight home

I've always objected to the Trumpet on moral (and basic sanity) grounds, but I now have more personal reasons. According to him, he's the reason my flight home via Qatar is likely going to be significantly longer.

Australians are used to long plane journeys. Anything under ten hours is totally acceptable to us, and if we want to head to Europe, we know we'll be locked into a plane/s for the better part of a day. I accept this. I also accept that I undertake all this with a toddler. But it's now going to be that bit worse thanks to Trump.



You see, the Trumpet (who, in case you've been living in an alternate dimension which we'd all like to visit, is the US president) is taking credit for the recent pressure on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Yemen, Libya's eastern-based government and the Maldives, who have all cut diplomatic and other ties with Qatar.


What this means for Aussie travellers flying through Qatar is: cancelled flights if they're flying with an airline belonging to one of the Gulf allies (not common); or longer flights if they're flying on Qatar Airways via Doha (much more common - and what we're literally doing today).


Qatar Airways has to avoid airspace that is now out of bounds, Australian aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas told The Australian.


"Flights to Australia and Asia fly over the UAE and Qatar Airways will be denied access to fly their aircraft over that airspace," he said.


"They’ll have to do a significant diversion, which will add an hour, maybe more, to flight times. It will also significantly impact flight routes to other locations in the Middle East and such diversions might not be economically viable."


Our own flight was delayed departing London due to both a late incoming flight and "traffic on the air route", but we arrived into Doha on time - whether or not the same will be said of the Sydney leg, I don't know.


Analysts say the move by the Gulf allies just a fortnight after Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia is crucial, the BBC reported.


In a speech in Riyadh, Trump urged Muslim countries to take the lead in combating radicalisation, which some say emboldened Saudi Arabia and friends to act against Qatar.


Trump claims that he was told in Saudi Arabia that Qatar was funding "radical ideology", adding that his visit was "already paying off".


"During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!" Trump tweeted.


"So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding... extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"


We can't comment on the whys and wherefores, but will just shallowly whinge about how it all makes us slightly uncomfortable for a short period of time.


Image: Alex Brandon/AP


Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 7 June 2017

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