Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

GCAA denies reports of eased airspace restrictions for Qatar planes

GCAA denies reports of eased airspace restrictions for Qatar planes

Director-General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Saif Mohammed Al-Suwaidi, said: "These resolutions confirm the neutrality of the ICAO and its commitment to its mandate, which it was founded for, to ensure the safety of civil aviation across the world'".

Qatari-owned aircraft are blocked from using the airspace of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates as part of economic sanctions enforced by the four countries in June.

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

Energy-rich Qatar's economy has taken a hit since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain moved to isolate it two months ago over allegations it supports extremists.

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

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

The economic action has put Qatar Airways in a hard position having to take longer, more expensive routes to destinations.

Under the new regulations, citizens of the 80 selected countries - which include Turkey, Germany, Greece and Belgium - will no longer be required to obtain prior entry visas.

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

"The visa exemption scheme will make Qatar the most open country in the region", Hassan al-Ibrahim, chief tourism development officer at Qatar Tourism Authority said at a press conference in Doha.

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