Egypt joins Gulf countries in resuming air link to Qatar

SourceArab Weekly

CAIRO--Egypt reopened its airspace to Qatari flights on Tuesday and will allow the resumption of flights between the two countries, aviation sources and state media 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, Al-Ahram state newspaper reported. Agreements set to be activated will also allow for goods transport between the two countries, according to sources from the civil aviation authority and aviation ministry. Egypt and its Gulf allies imposed the embargo on Qatar over allegations that it supports Islamic extremists and keeps close ties to Iran, allegations Doha denies. The Arab quartet, including Egypt, had agreed to lift the restrictions at a Gulf Cooperation Council summit last week in the Saudi desert city of Al-Ula, after a flurry of diplomatic activity by outgoing US President Donald Trump's administration. In the meantime, the first commercial flight between Qatar and Saudi Arabia in three and a half years, a Qatar Airways service to Riyadh, landed on Monday. more...