Qatar denies blocking Saudi Arabian flights for Hajj

Press TV- Qatar denies having banned Saudi flights from landing in the emirate to take pilgrims to the annual Hajj in the kingdom.

The flag carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines claimed on Sunday that one of its airliners had been prevented from touching down at Hamad International Airport in Doha.

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An official source in the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority on Monday dismissed the claim as “baseless,” the state-run QNA news agency reported.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates cut their diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism. Doha rejects the claim.

File photo taken on June 23, 2017 shows a general view of the Qatari side of the Abu Samrah border crossing with Saudi Arabia. (Photo by AFP)

The boycotting countries also closed their airspace to flag carrier Qatar Airways. The airline has stopped using the airspace of those countries ever since, rerouting flights and using alternative paths, including through Iranian skies.

Last week, Riyadh announced that it would open its borders with Qatar to allow Muslim pilgrims reach the holy city of Mecca to perform Hajj but it imposed several travel restrictions, including flying in only on airlines approved by Saudi Arabia.

Doha welcomed the move “even if politically-motivated.”

Qatar has conditioned any talks on the resolution of the diplomatic crisis to the lifting of the embargo and the quartet’s compensation for the economic damage it has caused through the siege.