KLM drops Qatar flights after 33 years

KLM Boeing 737-700, PH-BGP at Schiphol Airport
KLM Boeing 737-700, PH-BGP at Schiphol AirportSaschaporsche / Wikimedia Commons

KLM is stoopping its direct flights between Schiphol and Doha, the capital of Qatar, from next summer. The Dutch airline flew this route for 33 years, but competition from Qatar Airways - who started flying the same route in June last year - means that the flight to and from Qatar is no longer profitable, KLM announced on Thursday, ANP reports.

The decision to scrap the Qatar flight also has implications for other routes to the Middle East. The flight to and from Bahrein will now have a stopover in Kuwait instead of the current stopover in Doha. And the number of indirect flights to Bahrain will be extended from five to six times a week. The Saudi city of Dammam will now be linked toMuscat in Oman, instead of Kuwait.

"With changes in the flight schedule, we offer customers improved direct connections to the Gulf states. In some cases the travel time is also shorter", KLM president Pieters Elbers said in a statement. "The capacity that disappears will be deployed to new destinations."

Passengers who already booked a flight to Doha for after March 26th, 2017 will be offered an alternative flight.