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World

Egypt follows Gulf allies in reopening airspace to Qatar

  • Qatar Airways was expected to restart flights between Doha and Egypt on Friday, pending approval, sources at Cairo airport said.
  • Goods transport between the two countries will also become possible under agreements that are set to be activated.
12 Jan 2021

CAIRO: Egypt reopened its airspace to Qatari flights on Tuesday and will allow the resumption of air traffic between the two countries as part of a thaw in relations with the Gulf state, officials said.

The decision follows moves by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to end a boycott in which they severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar in 2017.

The lifting of Egypt's aviation ban allowed Qatari flights to cross Egyptian airspace and national carriers from both countries to submit flight operating schedules for approval, state newspaper Al-Ahram reported.

EgyptAir plans to run a daily flight to and from Doha, the aviation ministry said in a statement, without setting a start date. An additional flight could be added if there was sufficient demand, it said.

Qatar Airways was expected to restart flights between Doha and Egypt on Friday, pending approval, sources at Cairo airport said.

Goods transport between the two countries will also become possible under agreements that are set to be activated, aviation sources said.

Egypt and its Gulf allies imposed the embargo on Qatar over allegations it supports terrorism, allegations Doha denies.

Egypt expressed its support for regional reconciliation at a summit in Saudi Arabia last week but had stopped short of announcing concrete steps to end the boycott.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have all announced the reopening of their airspace to Qatar.