Qatar is locked in a diplomatic standoff with its Persian Gulf neighbors, and Qatar Airways has been caught up in it. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt shut down the airline's routes to their countries and barred it from using their airspace. Some routes now have double the flight time because planes have to make detours. The airline's CEO, Akbar al Baker, has threatened legal action because of the costs, and he compared the situation to the Soviet blockade of West Berlin during the Cold War, Bloomberg News reported.
Amidst the conflict, the airline released a video about the situation that takes a much more serene and indirect tone. The spot uses shots of happy families, images of cloud-filled vistas and a soothing voiceover. "The sky: There should be no borders up here, only horizons. As an airline, we don't believe in boundaries." Travel, the voiceover says, "goes beyond borders and prejudice."
"Remember that this world is all of ours to explore, and it's a strange thing for us to be apart," it says.
Qatar has asked the International Civil Aviation Organization for talks to resolve the crisis. The tiny state's four neighbors cut off diplomatic ties this month, arguing that Qatar funds terrorism. Qatar denies the charge.