Qatari flights raising Iran air traffic by 10 percent: Official

IRNA – Iran’s permission to Qatar to use its air space has resulted in a 10 percent rise in the air traffic over the country, says the director-general of the Iranian Airports Holding Company.

‘Fifteen to thirty flights of Qatar Airways use every day the Iranian airspace to reach their destinations,’ Rahmatollah Mahabadi told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and a few other Arab nations, after a row with Qatar in June, cut their ties with Doha, accusing it of supporting terrorism. They took some punitive measures against Qatar, including closing their air space to the Persian Gulf littoral Arab state whose national flag carrier is one of the top airlines in the world.

‘What is important to us is to provide service to the neighboring countries, particularly Muslim nations, under Iran’s friendship policy in the region,’ Mahabadi said.

Iran has acted in consistence with its policies and international obligations in permitting the Qatari airline to use its airspace, he added.

‘Steps taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its international approach in providing service for Qatar have been approved by The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA),’ the official said.

Qatar Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah has recently told the Arabic Russia Today that Iran was the first breathing space after the blockade by some Arab countries.