German carrier says decision taken because route has not been commercially viable
Lufthansa to axe Germany/Qatar service in October
The German airline Lufthansa said that it will end its Frankfurt/Doha service from next month because the route has been struggling in recent years to be commercially viable.
Lufthansa currently flies from the German city to Doha via Kuwait and the last flight from Doha by way of Kuwait to Frankfurt will take off from Hamad International Airport on October 27, the airline said.
"This decision was taken due to the commercial development of the route over the past few years," a Lufthansa company spokesman told The National.
"Lufthansa started flying the route Frankfurt to Doha in May 1993 and despite substantial sales efforts this route was found to be commercially not viable. Only one year back, Lufthansa had to again connect its operation from Doha to Frankfurt via Kuwait, due to the unsatisfactory commercial development of the route over the past few years."
The airline said that all affected customers would be informed and that Lufthansa would exercise the "most flexibility for possible" cancellations and refunds to existing bookings.
The carrier has been scaling back other routes to the Arabian Gulf in recent years because of the increasing competition in region. In 2015, it cut its flights to and from Abu Dhabi.
Air travel to Qatar has been hit in recent months due to a boycott of Qatar by a group of Arab nations, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Flights from the UAE to Doha have been suspended since the disagreement broke out in June over Doha's support for "terrorist groups aiming to destabilise the region."
Qatari nationals have not been allowed to enter or transit through the UAE and Emiratis have also been prevented from travelling to or through Qatar. UAE airspace has been closed to Qatari aircraft and vessels and Qatar Airways offices in the UAE have been closed.