New air routes officially open for flights to and from Qatar

New air routes officially open for flights to and from Qatar

QLReporter
By QLReporter

Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority announced that Qatar Airways and other international airlines will start using new air routes approved by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) starting today.

Following Qatar’s complaint to the ICAO against blockading countries shutting off airspace to aircraft to and from the country, an extraordinary session had asked them to open up special corridors for Qatar’s use.

Yesterday, it was unofficially announced that Bahrain would open up a corridor for Qatar’s use, a move that was confirmed today, according to Gulf Times

The ICAO Executive Council agreed that Qatar was having a huge negative impact due to the blockade and asked its member nations to open emergency corridors based on Article 54 of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944, reported The Peninsula.

“An important course for Qatar Airways has now been activated across the international waters for which the UAE is responsible in the Arabian Gulf. Most of the routes requested by Qatar from ICAO have been approved, whether in the Arabian Gulf or the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman,” said Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Chairman Abdullah bin Nasser Turki Al Subaie.

He added that the CAA was considering new routes through international waters, which are supposed to be operated once approved by all parties, including ICAO.

“The approval of the new routes is a great success for Qatar, which succeeded in convincing the ICAO of the importance of compliance by the siege countries with the Chicago Convention. The new routes will definitely give more comfort to passengers and enhance aircrafts’ security and safety,” Al Subaie was quoted as saying by Qatar Tribune.

However, despite these developments, one cannot say everything is back to normal. Alex Macheras, a leading aviation analyst, said some of the problems still remained for Qatar.

“Unfortunately for Doha-bound passengers, the biggest airspace closure affecting Qatar isn’t going to go away, thanks to ICAO rules. That’s because the largest no-fly zone affecting Qatar is Saudi Arabia, which unlike the other countries involved is not a signatory to the ICAO transit agreement and can therefore keep its airspace closed to Qatar as long as it wants,” he wrote in a column in Gulf Times.

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