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Mango exporter unfazed by Qatar crisis

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Qatar Airways stated on its website that its flights were not disrupted, expect to the four Gulf countries. Reuters

Cambodia’s leading mango exporter to Europe who uses Qatar Airways to transport his fruit to the continent via Dubai said yesterday that he was not worried about the decision of several Middle Eastern countries to prevent the airlines from flying over their airspace.
“I’m not worried about the fallout from the crisis in Qatar. If it affects cargo exports to Europe from Cambodia, I will choose another airline to transport my mango freight,” Mong Reththy, owner and founder of the Mong Reththy Group Co. Ltd, told Khmer Times.
“If there are problems with Qatar Airways, I will try to find alternative routes via Hong Kong or Singapore,” Mr Reththy said.
Kingdom Fruits International, a subsidiary company of the Mong Reththy Group, exports about 5 tonnes of mangoes twice a week to European countries.
Mangoes are highly perishable fruits and must be handled with care after harvesting.
Mr Reththy pointed out that air freighting his mangoes to Europe on Qatar Airways was still the cheapest option.
“The price will go up if I use other airlines but I’m staying calm. I hope this episode blows over and a resolution will be found soon.”
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, cut ties with the tiny Gulf state on Monday over what they say is Qatar’s support for terrorism, an accusation Qatar vehemently denies.
On Tuesday Saudi Arabia closed its airspace to Qatar Airways planes and this has seriously has affected the airline’s connections with Africa and certain parts of Europe.
Mr Reththy said Qatar Airways has not informed him of any changes in air cargo transport from Cambodia.
“So I’m assuming that everything is still okay,” he said.
Currently, passengers fly on Qatar Airways from Doha to Phnom Penh with a short stopover in Ho Chi Minh City. The airline also has a twice weekly air cargo service to the Middle East and Europe.
Qatar Airways stated on its website that its flights were not disrupted, except to the four Gulf countries that have imposed a ban on its planes landing in their airports.
Sin Chansereyvutha, spokesman for Cambodia’s State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said yesterday that the body has yet to receive updates about Qatar Airways. 
“As far as we are concerned, Qatar Airways’ flights are operating normally,” he said.
Khek Norinda, communications and marketing director at Cambodia Airports, declined to comment over the issue.

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