The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Gulf Today Report
The UAE General Authority of Civil Aviation announced the reopening of airspace and the resumption of air traffic between the UAE and the State of Qatar, starting on Jan.9, Saturday, following the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration that included a permanent solidarity agreement.
The authority said that it would resume scheduled and unscheduled flights between the two countries in coordination with the civil aviation authorities and national airlines in the UAE.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the signing of the Al-Ula declaration, which witnessed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and the Arab Republic of Egypt reopening the air, land and sea borders with the State of Qatar, stressing that this paves the way for airlines to resume links with the regional and global air carrier that reduces flight times, reduces operating costs for airlines, and provides essential air links that support the travel and tourism industry throughout the region.
Mohammed Ali Al-Bakri, Vice President of the International Air Transport Association in Africa and the Middle East, said: “The reopening of airspace with the State of Qatar is good news for travellers and the air transport sector, especially during these critical times, as the direct route of flights will facilitate the transportation process. Particularly with the coronavirus vaccine distributed globally, given the importance of the strategic location of the region and the airspace linking continents.
Al-Bakri added, "This agreement will contribute to operating direct routes between these countries, which will save travellers a great deal of time."
The two sides discussed joint mechanisms and procedures to implement the Al Ula Declaration and underscored the importance of preserving Gulf unity, developing joint action in the interest of Gulf Cooperation Council countries and their citizens, and achieving stability and prosperity in the region.
Air Arabia’s flights to Cairo and Lahore from Ras Al Khaimah will resume operations from October 15th while flights to Peshawar from October 16th; and to Islamabad from October 17th.
The decision was taken after Saudi Arabia barred all flights from UAE, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Ethiopia.The Saudi authorities said that the suspension was due to spike in coronavirus cases.
The country, whose hospitals bore the brunt of a record second surge in infections and deaths in April and May due to the Delta variant, has seen new cases plateauing around 10,000 in the past few weeks. But the detection of the Omicron variant in the southern state of Karnataka, has raised concerns of a third wave of infections.
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