UAE denies allowing Qatari aircraft into its airspace as Gulf crisis continues

Cheryl Sanders
August 11, 2017

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday denied opening its sovereign airspace to transit registered aircraft in Qatar, the Emirati official WAM news agency reported.

Saudi civil aviation authority affirmed that the boycott of Qatar, including preventing Qatari carriers from using the kingdom's airports and airspace, continues.

Under the NOTAM the access route, above the Arabian Gulf, connects Iranian airspace to Bahraini.

The GCAA's latest statement follows reports on Tuesday that the UAE and Bahrain had agreed to open some of their airspace to Qatari aircraft.

These cover a Mediterranean track between waypoints identified as RASDA, GESAD and RAKMU, with assigned altitudes of 30,000-31,000ft.

The airline's chief executive Akbar al-Baker told reporters in Doha that his company was looking at "the flexibility and benefit" of one "very short route".

The UN's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has responded to a complaint filed by Qatar against the Quartet, saying it will remain neutral, but welcomed news of emergency routes.

To encourage air transport and tourism, Qatar has introduced visa-free entry to the residents of 80 countries and surprisingly Pakistan is not in the list.

Passport holders of 47 countries including Thailand, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, UK and US can stay in Qatar up to 30 days.

The anti-Qatar bloc accuse Doha of supporting terror in the Middle East - a charge which Qatar has vehemently denied.

"With this decision, Qatar hopes to bring fresh diversity to the tourism sector", Hassan al-Ibrahimi, the QTA's chief development officer, said at a news conference in Doha.

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