The Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been working with “various Middle Eastern states to ensure equitable access to airspace for Qatar-registered aircraft” since sanctions were announced on June 5, ICAO spokesman Anthony Philbin said. “Some existing air route availability has been assured, and some new temporary or contingency routes have also been developed,” including through Bahrain and UAE airspace, he said.
Qatar turned to the ICAO after the siege countries denied Doha from using their airspace as part of their boycott.
“The ICAO and the states involved are continuously monitoring related air route suitability and ATM (air traffic management) measures, which may still be subject to further modification if necessary, by mutual agreement,” Philbin said. Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at the aviation consultancy Strategic Aero Research, said the new corridor, though temporary, bodes “well for a longer term solution that may provide much needed breathing space for Qatar Airways”.
Ahmad told Al Jazeera that while he does not “see any resumption of pre-June 2017 normalcy in terms of flights to and from Doha”, it will enable Qatar Airways to fly a little more efficiently, particularly when it could not previously fly over UAE airspace.