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Bahrain UAE open up airspace for Qatar Airways world aviation agency says

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MONTREAL — The world aviation agency says Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to open up some of their airspace to Qatar’s state-owned airline after it was hit with flight restrictions earlier this summer in a diplomatic dispute.A spokesman for the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) says the flight corridors include existing as well as new “temporary or contingency” routes for Qatar Airways.Anthony Philbin says since June 5, ICAO has been working with various countries in the Middle East to reach an agreement on access to airspace for Qatar-registered aircraft.More than two months ago, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar, a move that initially stranded passengers and resulted in a drop in fares for Qatar Airways.The four countries accused Qatar of supporting extremists.Qatar denied the allegations and said they were politically motivated.Last month, Qatar Transportation Minister Jassim Saif Ahmed Al-Sulaiti said the blockade has eaten into Qatar Airways’ profits in part due to costly detours around closed airspace.Philbin said ICAO, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates are monitoring air traffic management measures and they may be subject to more changes in the future, if needed, by mutual agreement. read more