The International Civil Aviation Organization is reviewing requests from the Qatar government to assess flight restrictions imposed by neighboring states amid accusations that the country supports extremist groups in the region.
Diplomatic discussions are continuing this week to find a consensus-based solution, the United Nations agency said in an emailed statement. Officials from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain will be arriving at ICAO to progress the talks further, it said.
Qatar’s neighbors severed diplomatic and transport links this month, accusing the nation of backing Islamic militants. The isolation stemming from the charges—which Qatar denies—has forced the world’s richest country by capita to open new trade routes to import food and other essentials, and added hours to flight times as pilots circumvent its neighbors’ airspace.
Qatar Airways said Wednesday that operations to and from its Doha hub are running smoothly and most flights are operating as scheduled. The national carrier will continue expanding its network in the coming months, it said in a statement.
Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker called on ICAO to declare the blockade illegal, saying it is “in direct contradiction to the convention that guarantees rights to civil overflight.”
ICAO is working to “bring these states together towards a solution which satisfies both their current regional concerns and the global needs and expectations of passengers and shippers,” the agency said in its email.