Iran Air is Sending Planeloads of Food to Qatar
The blockade of Qatar by its neighbors is taking a toll on the small Middle Eastern country, and quiet airports and rerouted flights aren't the only repercussions. With shipments banned across Qatar's land borders, Iran Air has begun flying food supplies to the country — five planeloads have already been delivered and a sixth one is scheduled to be sent on Sunday.
The country normally receives approximately 40% of its food via the land crossing it shares with Saudi Arabia, but with that route currently closed due to the severing of diplomatic ties by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, the country has turned to Iran for assistance. Iran Air is the flag carrier of Iran — an airline spokesman told Agence France-Presse that each planeload contained 90 tons of cargo and that the shipments "will continue deliveries as long as there is demand" from Qatar. The Tasnim news agency reported that three ships with 350 tons of food were also preparing to depart for the country.
Iran has also opened its airspace to flights to and from Qatar, which can no longer fly over its neighbors and have limited routes in and out of Doha (DOH) as seen in the above tweet from flightradar24.com. The country's official news agency reports that approximately 100 additional flights are flying over Iran daily, resulting in a 17% increase in traffic.
Qatar's relationship with Iran is one of the causes of irritation by the four blockading countries; they claim that Qatar is supporting terrorism and extremists. Qatar denies the charge, but the four Arab countries have also been joined by Libya, Yemen and the Maldives in cutting ties with the country.
H/T: BBC News