Some Arab neighbors open airspace to Qatari planes amid blockade

- 321351Image1 - Some Arab neighbors open airspace to Qatari planes amid blockade

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has announced that Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to open some of their airspace to Qatari airplanes, after Doha was sanctioned by numerous Arab countries this summer.
ICAO spokesman Anthony Philbin  said Tuesday that the flight corridors include existing as well as new “temporary or contingency” routes for Qatar Airways.

In addition to UAE and Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabi cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June amid allegations of Doha supporting Iran-sponsored extremists, the Muslim Brotherhood and other claims. Qatar officials have denied the accusations.

One of the restrictions in the blockade was that the aforementioned countries had restricted airspace for all Qatari-flagged aircraft.

“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.

He added that the work by ICAO has been underway since June 5 with various countries in the Middle East to work out access to airspace for Qatar-registered aircraft.

The lifting of some of the air sanctions is limited and restrictions on sea and land travel to the peninsular nation remain.

The United States has urged the feud to be settled through the Gulf Cooperation Council.

ICAO is a United Nations organization that deals with planning and the technical coordination of air navigation around the world.


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