Qatari flights to use Iran’s airspace

Qatari flights to use Iran’s airspace
Tue Jun 6, 2017 13:06:27

An official at Iran Airports Company (IAC) said, as of today, all flights performed by Qatari airlines will cross the Iranian airspace to travel to Africa and Europe.

(MNA) -- The informed source touched upon situation of airlines in Qatar following its recent diplomatic challenges with a number of Arab countries leading to a ban on passing through skies of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt asserting “the four major Persian Gulf littoral and North African states have announced that Qatar Airways, the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar, will be banned from using airspaces of their airspace as of today, June 06.”

The official at Iran Airports & Air Navigation Company highlighted that, in view of current circumstances, the only option left for Qatari flights would be to go across Iran’s sky.

“Majority of flights by airlines of Qatar head North Africa or Southern Europe and, prior to recent movements, Qatari aircrafts would first enter the airspace of Saudi Arabia and then Egypt,” said the official noting that, with imposition of air restrictions, flights from Qatar need to pass through Iran, Iraq and Jordan before entering North Africa.

He said, in the past, flights from Qatar to destinations in North and Central Europe and the North Atlantic region used to pass through the sky of Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq and Turkey while now they need to cross Iran’s airspace and then that of Turkey before arriving in Europe.

“Presently, a total of 955 foreign flights per day range over Iran’s airspace and the figure is likely to rise by 200 flights is Qatari airlines decide to choose the Iranian route.

The official underlined that necessary permits will be issued by Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization after receiving request from foreign countries or airlines; “these offers are normally welcomes since they generate revenue for the country.”

He underscored that the most significant hurdle faced by Qataris would be making flights to Horn of Africa since Egypt has also imposed sanctions against Qatari airlines and the new route, which goes across Oman, southern Iran and Iraq, covers a considerably longer distance than the previous one.

In response to a question about revenues of IAC out of foreign flights crossing the country’s airspace, the official said figures of earnings cannot be made public for security reasons and notably because they lead to a decrease in the country’s incomes.

In a related story, Reza Jafarzadeh, Head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization public relations office, said with the approval of the Civil Aviation Organization of Islamic Republic of Iran, Qatar’s flights will join Iran’s air traffic.

“In addition to the Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Head of National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Parliament have been also informed about the issue,” he stated.

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