Only Qatari and Qatar-based airlines will be subject to the Gulf air blockade on Doha

Only Qatari and Qatar-based airlines will be subject to the Gulf air blockade on Doha
The UAE's air authority appears to have backtracked on an earlier statement banning all flights to Qatar travelling through Gulf airspace.
2 min read
13 June, 2017
Qatar Airways are among the airlines banned from travelling through Emirati airspace [AFP]

The air blockade imposed on Qatar only applies to airlines from or registered in Doha, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain said on Tuesday, more than a week into their blockade on the neighbouring Gulf state.

The blockade bans "all Qatari aviation companies and aircraft registered in the state of Qatar" from landing or transiting through the airspace of the Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, according to the statements published by the national agencies of the three countries.

The ban does not apply to aviation companies and aircraft not registered in Qatar and the three neighbouring countries, and which wish to cross their airspace to and from Qatar, they said.

An exception is made for private planes and charter flights to or from Qatar, which require permission to transit through the airspace of the three countries, the statements said.

A permission request must be submitted 24 hours in advance and include a list of the names and nationalities of both crew and passengers, as well as the nature of cargo on board.

On Monday, Qatar Airways called on the UN's aviation body, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, to declare the Gulf blockade illegal and a violation of a 1944 convention on international air transport.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker said the move by Saudi Arabia and its allies was an "illegal blockade".

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain are among several countries which last week announced the suspension of all ties to Qatar over what they say is the state's support for terrorist groups and its political proximity to Iran.

Qatar has repeatedly denied the allegations, suggesting the decision to cut diplomatic ties was pre-meditated and based on "fabricated lies".

Despite this, Doha assured its readiness to hold dialogues with the conflicting states, adding it is prepared to listen to their concerns.

But speaking in Europe on Monday, Qatar's Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani confirmed several mediation efforts have so far failed to produce results.

"There is still no clarity yet in what they actually want," he said, referring to the anti-Qatar alliance in the region.

"We still do not why they have taken these actions and isolated Qatar. It looks as if it is the same reason as before - a dislike of our policy towards Egypt - but no one has the right to impose a foreign policy on a sovereign state."

On Monday, Qatar announced that it had launched direct shipping services to ports in Oman in a bid to bypass the Gulf blockade.

Saudi Arabia has closed the Qatari peninsula's only land border, threatening imports of both fresh food and raw materials needed to complete a $200 billion infrastructure project for the 2022 football World Cup.

Agencies contributed to this report.