GCAA denies reports of eased airspace restrictions for Qatar planes

United Arab Emirates authorities are denying that the Gulf state has opened its airspace to Qatari aircraft, following a NOTAM route amendment.

"It is the duty of ICAO, who allocates FIRs to countries, to administer global airspace", al-Baker said in reply to a question by Gulf Times at a media event in Doha on Wednesday.

Qatar rejected the demands, in a response that the four countries considered very negative, and chose to continue the boycott of the former, and to consider new sanctions against it.

The GCAA says it still "denies the opening of sovereign airspace" for transit by Qatari aircraft. "All media reports on Bahrain opening its airspace to Qatar Airways are misinformation and go counter to reality", the Bahrain News Agency quoted the Civil Aviation Affairs at the Bahraini Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunication as saying.

Al Baker said the airline was studying "the flexibility and benefit" of one "very short route" while another route off the Egyptian coast was "useless" to the airline, Mr Al Baker said at a Doha press conference, giving no further details.

The UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt closed airspace to Qatari aircraft in June as part of a blockade against Doha.

The airspace closures have forced Qatar Airways to fly longer, more expensive routes, prompting Doha to call for the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization to intervene.

The anti-Qatar bloc accuse Doha of supporting terror in the Middle East - a charge which Qatar has vehemently denied.

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