Wednesday, 9 August 2017

UAE And Bahrain Relax Flight Route Restrictions For Qatar Airways.

In an unexpected move both Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to open up some of their airspace to Qatar Airways, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization.  

Bahrain, the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia all cut diplomatic ties and land, sea and air transport links with Qatar, as tensions mounted. The gulf four nations also locked and sealed off all Qatar Airways offices presenting staff from accessing anything from the buildings, shops and offices, even personal belongings. 

The blockage initially stranded thousands of passengers and resulted in a drop in fares for Qatar Airways, who had to adapt to flying different routes over the gulf to avoid over flying air space belonging to one of the four blockading nations. For many routes the additional flight time was little over 10 minutes, however for a few routes, particularly South America the flying time was increased by an hour or so.  

Anthony Philbin, a spokesman for the Montreal-based ICAO said that since 5th June the aviation organization had been working with various countries in the Middle East to work out access to airspace for Qatar-registered aircraft.  

It is not known if this new arrangement is permanent or just a temporary holding solution whilst the diplomatic tensions in the region continue. However according to sources in the gulf, The Kingdom of Bahrain has denied media reports alleging that the Kingdom has opened its airspace to Qatar Airways, affirming that Bahrain's sovereign skies remain closed to all planes owned by or registered in Qatar.

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