AIRLINES
operating to the Gulf are holding their nerve despite British Airways cutting
services following changes in travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office.

BA
has suspended flights to Muscat and reduced its Dubai service from double daily
to daily after security concerns in the region intensified following the
shooting of a British worker in Saudi Arabia. 

In
addition, all flights to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait and
Riyadh will operate via Larnaca instead of direct so overnighting staff can
avoid staying in hotels in the Middle East. 

Both
Emirates and Gulf Air have resisted changes to their network so far and have
reported a rise in demand for services.

Qatar
Airways is not changing its schedule but is offering full refunds to passengers
travelling to Doha. A spokeswoman said only a “handful” had taken up the offer.

Gulf
Air president and chief executive James Hogan said: “The Civil Aviation
Authorities in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Oman have confirmed the airports at our
key hubs will remain open in the event of conflict in the region.”

The
only change the carrier has made at present is an extension in the length of
routes to the Mediterranean to avoid the area of conflict.

An
Emirates spokesman said: “There are no plans at present to change our network.
Bookings are healthy and our main hub in Dubai is some distance from Baghdad.”

A
BA spokeswoman said: “The safety and security of our passengers and crew is
always our top priority.”

Meanwhile,
BA said it had no plans to axe Concorde despite a downturn in business travel
hitting supersonic bookings. “We are looking at all products and Concorde is
part of that,” said a spokesman.