DUBAI: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed the signing of the ‘solidarity and stability’ agreement that will see Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt open their air, land and sea borders with Qatar.
The agreement paves the way for commercial airlines to resume regional connectivity, which will shorten flight times and provide essential air links to families and businesses across the region.
“The reopening of airspace with Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt is welcome news for the region, passengers and the aviation industry during these very difficult times. It will permit the resumption of direct flights between these countries and Qatar, eliminating complex transit travel itineraries that saw typical journey times increase from under an hour to over five hours in some cases.
“The agreement also opens the door for the establishment of quarantine-free travel corridors which will allow families and friends across the region to be able to reconnect and businesses trade more easily. And will facilitate the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines globally given the region’s strategic location,” said Muhammad Al Bakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East.