Egypt lifts three-and-half-year airspace ban on Qatar Tuesday

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Jan 2021

The decision comes a week after Egypt signed the Al-Ula agreement for Arab reconciliation with Qatar

An Airbus A350-1000 aircraft of Qatar Airways is pictured after a delivery ceremony at the French headquarters of aircraft company Airbus in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, February 20, 2018 (photo: Reuters)

The Head of Egypt's Civil Aviation Authority Ashraf Noweir said on Tuesday that Egypt officially reopened its airspace to Qatari aircraft this morning, ending a three and a half year airspace ban on Qatar.

The decision to the lift airspace ban on Qatar allows Egypt's flag carrier EgyptAir and Qatar Airways to operate flights between the two countries, as well as the exchange flight schedules between the Egyptian and Qatari civil authorities for approval, Noweir explained.

Noweir added that the aviation authority has also approved a request by the Qatari authorities to allow Qatari aircraft to pass through the Egyptian airspace.

The decision comes a week after Egypt signed the Al-Ula agreement for Arab reconciliation with Qatar, which ended a diplomatic and travel boycott by the Arab Qaurtet - Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain - on Doha since mid 2017.

The agreement was signed last week by the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at their summit in Saudi Arabia.

The quartet cut diplomatic, economic and travel ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of interfering in their internal affairs and supporting terrorist groups, charges denied by Qatar.

Saudi Arabia had restored full ties with Qatar and reopened its airspace to Doha last Monday. 

The United Arab Emirates reopened all its land, sea and air entry points with Qatar on Saturday.

Bahrain also reopened its airspace to Doha on Monday.

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed after the signing of the agreement last week the need to build on this step of reconciliation with Qatar to enhance joint Arab work and relations.
Shoukry said that these relations should be based on goodwill and non-interference in the Arab countries’ domestic affairs.
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