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Friday, February 26, 2021

Egypt and UAE resume flights to Qatar

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EgyptAir and Air Arabia announce direct flights to Doha as the first Qatar Airways flight to Cairo in three years departs on Monday. 

Egyptian national carrier EgyptAir and Sharjah-based Air Arabia announced resumption of services to Doha starting from Monday.

The first flight to Cairo will depart Doha today at 3:15 pm whereas the flight from Sharjah will arrive Qatar at 4:10 pm.

Additionally, Qatar Airways announced that it will resume flights to Egypt as the first QA flight will land in Cairo today as mentioned above, followed by a trip to Alexandria on January 25.

This follows the latest news announced on January 5 of this year, as the former blockading countries signed a deal with Qatar ending a three-year rift in the Gulf region.

In June 2017, Egypt, and members of the GCC imposed an airspace ban on Qatar as flights between Doha and the blockading countries were suspended for three consecutive years.

In the wake of the declaration, Saudi Arabia along with the other blockading countries planned gradual lifting of the blockade.

Abu Dhabi’s flag carrier airline Etihad Airways also said in a statement that it is looking forward to resuming flights to the neighboring Gulf state soon.

An Etihad Airways spokesperson: “Etihad Airways welcomes ties between the UAE and Qatar being restored. As airspace reopens, Etihad looks forward to recommencing services between Abu Dhabi and Doha and once again, supporting growth of trade and tourism between the two nations. Etihad will announce any developments when confirmed.”

Earlier this month, QA resumed flights to Riyadh and Jeddah in the kingdom.

However, Egypt airspace was reopened to Qatari planes since January 12. 

EgyptAir affirmed that starting from Monday two flights to Doha from Cairo International Airport will be operated on a daily basis . 

The company’s chairman, Rushdi Zakaria, said four additional flights would be operated to Qatar from Borg al-Arab Airport near the northern coastal city of Alexandria every week. 

Before the blockade, three flights were operated daily to Doha by EgyptAir. 

“We can increase the number of daily flights to three when demand grows in the coming period,” Zakaria said on Egyptian TV. 

Meanwhile, Cairo International Airport authorities have finalised permissions for the arrival of the Qatari embassy employees in Cairo.

According to media reports,embassy employees will coordinate the arrival of Qatari delegations to Cairo once they arrive and start operating. 

Cairo Airport’s call centre has already started receiving dozens of calls from Egyptians wanting to travel to Doha, Egyptian media said. 

Read also: No quarantine for those travelling to Abu Dhabi from Qatar

Flights resumption opens the door for restoring diplomatic, political and trade ties between the neighboring states.

“This development will create demand for Egyptian workers in the Qatari market,” Hamdi Emam, the head of the recruitment companies division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, told Middle East Eye. 

In addition, a number of Doha-based websites that were previously banned in the UAE, such as Qatar Airways and many Doha-based news titles, are once again available to browse.

However, the Al Jazeera news channel, one of the main sources of dispute during the rift, remains unavailable till this moment.


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