UAE Airspace Restriction Now Applies to Non-Qatar Airways Planes as Well
This week started off on an alarming note as several Middle Eastern countries cut diplomatic ties with the State of Qatar. An immediate impact of the move? All Qatar Airways flights were suspended from flying into or over any of the countries involved — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
Since the original announcement, the UAE tightened the restrictions a bit more by threatening any Qatari sympathizers with jail time and a hefty fine. Now, the UAE is tightening those restrictions even further by banning all flights — regardless of carrier — from flying over its airspace if the aircraft is flying to or from Doha.
As of this writing, the UAE is the only country implementing such a hard policy on all flights operating through Doha. A number of flights within the region will be impacted because of this move. As One Mile at a Time points out, Oman Air's flight from Muscat (MCT) to Doha (DOH) used to be able to fly over UAE airspace.
Now, the carrier is forced to go around the country's borders to avoid its airspace.
Overall, this news is sure to make an impact on flights in the region. It'll be interesting to see how airlines respond and if the UAE continues to expand these restrictions any further, or if any other countries follow suit.