Qatar Airways says it is no longer a "small regional airline" as profits take off

 
Oliver Gill
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Military Jet Escorts Qatar Airways Plane Into Manchester Airport
Qatar Airways launched routes to 24 new destinations, including Ireland (Source: Getty)

Qatar Airways hailed its transformation into an "aviation powerhouse" after today revealing annual profits had spiked by over a fifth.

The airline has been caught up in the recent diplomatic row between Qatar and several of its Gulf neighbours. With Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates closing their borders, Qatar Airways has been forced into cancelling flights.

Read more: Terrorism fears cause United Arab Emirates to sever ties with Qatar

In its annual results to the end of March, sales increased by 10 per cent to 39bn Qatari riyal (£8bn).

However, operating profits sank by a third to 2bn Qatari riyal. Nevertheless, profit before tax jumped by 21 per cent to 2bn Qatari riyal after making large gains on selling assets during the year.

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said:

Our annual results once again reflect the success of our expansion and growth strategy that has seen the Qatar Airways Group grow from a small regional airline into an aviation powerhouse over the last two decades.

Read more: Emirates and Etihad among airlines cutting Qatar flights in diplomatic row

The airline said that despite recent actions by the four Gulf states it was operating its network in line with its publish schedules "with day-to-day adjustments for operational and commercial efficiencies".

Qatar Airways, which increased its shareholding in British Airways owner IAG last year to 20 per cent, said its Heathrow to Doha was one of its key partnerships. During the year it announced 24 new destinations including Dublin and San Francisco.

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