Qatar denies Arab states’ air corridor claim

Qatar says reports that Saudi-led group would allow Qatari planes to use air corridors in emergencies are false.

Qatar Airways aircrafts
Qatar Airways aircrafts are seen at Hamad International Airport in Doha [Naseem Zeitoon/Reuters]

Qatar has denied Saudi media reports that Arab states would allow Qatari planes to use air corridors in emergencies, saying they were spreading “false information”.

Qatar’s transport and communications ministry and its aviation authority on Sunday denied claims that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain had taken such a decision, the state news agency QNA reported.

Saudi state news agency SPA on Sunday cited a statement from the Saudi aviation authority (GACA) as saying they had already agreed on emergency air corridors, which were identified under ICAO supervision, and that they would be open from August 1.

“Nine corridors have been identified including one in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea that will be monitored by the Egyptian authorities,” SPA said.

Qatar called on the countries to not leak “false information” before the ICAO meeting in Montreal on Monday.

ICAO was not immediately available for comment.

ICAO’s 36-state governing council could act to settle the dispute presented by Qatar, but such interventions are rare and time-consuming because the UN agency usually negotiates disputes through consensus.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain broke diplomatic relations with Qatar in early June largely over their allegations that it supports “terrorist” groups – a charge Qatar rejects.

Source: Reuters