KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will be suspending direct service to Doha, the capital of Qatar. As a reason for removing the Doha from its network the Dutch carrier cites unprofitability.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has been flying to Doha for 33 years. After Qatar Airlines opened a direct route to Amsterdam in June 2015, the KLM route was rendered unprofitable. The suspension is seen as one of the results of unfair competition that is giving Gulf carriers the upper hand in the market.
Pieter Elbers, KLM president and CEO said the following about the change in the network:
Adjusting the schedule enables us to offer our passengers improved direct connections to the Gulf States. In some cases, this will reduce flight times. The capacity removed from these routes will be deployed for new destinations announced for the start of the 2017 summer season.
The last flight to Doha will be operated on the 26th of March. With the suspension of Doha operation KLM wants to improve its connectivity in the region adding direct service to Kuwait and Damman. With the measure it seems KLM is not only trying to cut an unprofitable route, but also stop feeding passengers to Qatar. Instead the airline tries to carry passengers directly to their destinations without transit.