The UAE and Bahrain have agreed to open up some of their airspace to Qatar Airways, according to Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The flight corridors are understood to include existing as well as new temporary or contingency routes for Qatar Airways.

MEED understands that ICAO has been working with Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to reach an agreement on access to airspace for Qatar Airways since June, when the Saudi-led states closed their air space to Qatar as a result of the latest diplomatic row between Qatar and its neighbours.

Since then, residents in the blockading countries travelling to Qatar have had to fly via airports in Oman and Kuwait and take a second flight from these airports to reach Doha. This has extended average travel time from under one hour to almost five hours.

ICAO spokesman Anthony Philbin said the three countries – Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE – are monitoring air traffic management measures and they may be subject to “more changes in the future, if needed, by mutual agreement.”

Qatar Airways inaugurated its first flight from Doha to Sohar in Oman on 8 August.