Qatar Airways Profits Reached $540 Million before Gulf Crisis

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Qatar Airways said Sunday its net profits rose by almost 22 percent in the last financial year that ended in March, before the diplomatic fallout with its Gulf neighbors.

The results cover the period from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, well before Saudi Arabia and several of its allies cut ties with Qatar and severed air links with Doha nearly a week ago.

"Our annual results once again reflect the success of our expansion and growth strategy," Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al-Baker said in a statement.

Net profits rose to $540 million (482 million euros), a 21.7 per cent increase.

Revenues rose by 10 per cent to $10.6 billion.

Despite this performance, the current period is an uncertain time for the Doha-based carrier.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and others accuse Qatar of supporting extremist groups and have imposed punitive measures on Doha.

These include banning Qatar Airways from using their airspace, and Saudi Arabia also revoked Qatar Airways' license to operate out of the kingdom.

The airline has also been dealing with the repercussions of a ban imposed by the United States in March on electronic devices larger than a smart phone on flights from the Middle East.

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