Qatar Airways can now access a new route, over international waters in the Gulf, controlled by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the world aviation agency announced.

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 Jun 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 said.

Qatar had asked the ICAO to approve new routes, after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt banned Qatar Airways from their airspace, as part of economic and diplomatic boycott.

The air traffic restrictions have caused headaches for the 2.4 million residents of Qatar. 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.

Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at the aviation consultancy Strategic Aero Research, said, the new corridor, though temporary, bodes well for a longer term solution that may provide much needed breathing space for Qatar Airways.

Ahmad said, while he does not see any resumption of pre-Jun, 2017 normalcy, in terms of flights to and from Doha, it will enable Qatar Airways to fly a little more efficiently, particularly when it could not previously fly over UAE airspace

Source: NAM News Network