Bahrain, UAE open flight corridors for Qatar Airways: ICAO

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to open up flight corridors for Qatar’s flag carrier Qatar Airways, the world aviation agency said on Tuesday.

The Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has been working with “various Middle Eastern states to ensure equitable access to airspace for Qatar-registered aircraft” since sanctions were announced on June 5, ICAO spokesman Anthony Philbin said.

“Some existing air route availability has been assured, and some new temporary or contingency routes have also been developed,” including through Bahrain and UAE airspace, he told AFP.

Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states suspended ties with Doha two months ago over accusations that Qatar had close ties to extremist groups and Iran. Qatar has denied the allegations.

Sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt included a ban on Qatar using the bloc’s ports and airspace.

Due to the air traffic restrictions, flights were forced to take longer routes, for example, to Southeast Asia.

“The ICAO and the states involved are continuously monitoring related air route suitability and ATM (air traffic management) measures, which may still be subject to further modification if necessary, by mutual agreement,” Philbin said.

Source: Civil Aviation Authority, Qatar

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