Qataris banned from landing at any UAE airport

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed June 8, 2017 09:30

Qataris banned from landing at any UAE airport

As part of the efforts by Arab states to isolate Qatar, Qataris will no longer be allowed to land at any airports in the United Arab Emirates or catch connecting flights. Qantas Airways confirmed yesterday that it would not be able to fly Qataris to Dubai because of the government restrictions, and Etihad and Emirates have followed suit. Etihad has also warned foreigners living in Qatar with residence permits that they would no longer be eligible for visas upon arrival in the United Arab Emirates.

These restrictions have clarified the practical impact on passengers to the region after Monday’s action by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE, to cut ties with Qatar over it alleged support for terrorism, which the Gulf state vehemently denies.

The transit ban on Qataris is stricter than the restrictions for Israeli passport holders who are allowed up to 24 hours to change planes at UAE airports, even though Israel and the United Arab Emirates don’t have diplomatic relations.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for the restoration of air connectivity to Qatar: “Of course we accept that countries have the right to close their borders,” IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac told AFP, “but connectivity with Qatar must be restored as quickly as possible.”

All of Qatar Airways flights are constricted to a narrow airspace leaving the country as they are banned from flying over Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE. All aircraft are departing and arriving north of Doha and flying through Iranian airspace. This means longer flights and more fuel burn for the airline, which is only acerbating the financial impact. Other carriers flying to Qatar must apply for special permission to fly over UAE airspace, which is causing delays. As signatories of the International Air Services Transit Agreement, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE cannot legally block Qatar from using their airspace.

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed June 8, 2017 09:30