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Indonesia diverts pilgrims to other airlines after Qatar Airways fallout
[JAKARTA] Indonesia on Wednesday said it had diverted Muslim pilgrims to other airlines after Qatar Airways' licences were revoked by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, amid the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.
Qatar Airways was ordered on Tuesday to close its offices in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, following coordinated action by four Arab nations to cut ties with Qatar. They accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, an assertion that Doha had dismissed.
Indonesia's transport ministry said it had not pulled Qatar Airways' licence.
The airline can operate flights linking Indonesia to destinations apart from the countries that have "a diplomatic problem with Qatar," it added in an emailed statement.
Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population, sends more than 200,000 pilgrims every year to Islam's holiest city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Analysts have said Qatar Airways will lose millions of dollars in revenue from flight cancellations caused by the scrapping of its licence by Saudi Arabia.