Qatar Airways Image Credit: GN Archive

Doha. Qatar Airways reported a near ten-fold increase in annual losses as higher fuel costs and a weaker regional economy compounded an already tough operating environment from Saudi-led airspace closures.

The loss for the 12 months through March swelled to 2.33 billion riyals ($637 million) as currency fluctuations and the increased kerosene bill led costs to outstrip an advance in revenue, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

As part of their boycott of Qatar over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and for its close ties to the Iranian regime. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt have barred the Doha-based carrier from flying over their territory. As a result, Qatar Airways has had to abandon more than 20 routes and make lengthy diversions in order to continue others, further enlarging its fuel bill.

Adding to the Gulf carrier’s woes are wobbling demand and a faltering global economy amid a trade war between the US and China, while ratcheting tensions between the White House and Iran threaten further upheaval.