Egypt follows Gulf allies in reopening airspace to Qatar By Reuters

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt reopened its airspace to Qatari flights on Tuesday and will allow air traffic between the two countries to resume as part of a thaw in relations with the Gulf state, officials 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 the aviation ban from Egypt allowed Qatari flights to cross Egyptian airspace and domestic flights. Carriers from both countries must submit flight operating schedules for approval, state newspaper Al-Ahram reported. EgyptAir plans to fly a daily flight to and from Doha, the aviation ministry said in a statement. An additional flight could be added if there was enough demand, he said. EgyptAir’s president told local television that the airline expected to resume flights to Qatar from January 18. In addition to daily flights from Cairo, there would be four flights a week from Alexandria to Doha, he said. Qatar Airways was expected to restart flights between Doha and Egypt on Friday, pending approval, sources at Cairo airport said. The transport of goods between the two countries will also be possible thanks to agreements that will be activated, said aviation sources. Egypt and its Gulf allies imposed an embargo on Qatar over allegations that it supports terrorism, allegations Doha denies. Egypt voiced support for regional reconciliation at a summit in Saudi Arabia last week, but failed to confirm concrete steps to end the boycott. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have announced the reopening of their airspace to Qatar.

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