So this is happening: A major international airline faces a blockade. We admit it—this is a new one for us, with little to no history as a guide. Nonetheless, Qatar Airways faces a travel and trade embargo from four nearby countries, which overnight wiped 18 destinations off Qatar’s route map and essentially propped up a legal wall in the airspace to the south and west of Doha. This hardship—and it surely is one, despite management’s defiant swagger—comes at a time when all three major Gulf carriers are enduring a downtrend.
Qatar’s newly released 2016 results certainly lacked luster. And how will the blockade affect Emirates and Etihad? Elsewhere, Southwest, while not facing a blockade, is stepping into what appears to be a multi-party knife fight in Fort Lauderdale with the likes of JetBlue, Delta and Spirit. Lastly, with the airshow in Paris underway, we discuss a few aircraft (both real and imagined) including the B797, the B737 MAX-10 and the “A380 Plus.”