You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

Qatar denies banning Saudi's Haj pilgrimage flights, slams Riyadh claims

The flight is one of a select few that will allow Qataris to land in Saudi Arabia

AFP/PTI  |  Doha 

A father and a son circle the Kaaba at Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday, Sept 22, 2015 Picture by PTI
A father and a son circle the Kaaba at Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday, Sept 22, 2015 Picture by PTI

Qatar today denied it had banned Saudi Arabian flights from landing in the emirate to transport Muslim pilgrims to Mecca, after an accusation by authorities in

Saudi Arabian Airlines on Sunday said Qatari authorities had refused to grant a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight, scheduled to transport Qatari haj pilgrims, permission to land at Hamad Airport.


The flight is one of a select few that will allow Qataris to land in Saudi Arabia, which last week temporarily opened its borders to pilgrims to the Saudi city of Mecca, the most revered site in Islam, more than two months into a diplomatic crisis that has seen cut all ties with Qatar and ban its citizens from entering.

An official source in the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority on Monday "described as baseless the news... That allegedly claimed that the state of Qatar refused to allow Saudi Airlines to transport the Qatari pilgrims," according to a report carried on the state-run QNA news agency.

Qatar's civil aviation authority confirmed that it had received a request from the Saudi carrier for permission to land and had referred the airline to the ministry of Islamic affairs "in accordance with past practices".

The hajj to Mecca, a pillar of Islam that capable Muslims must perform at least once, takes place at the start of September this year. It is expected to draw around two million Muslims from around the world.

The pilgrimage has turned into a point of contestation between and Qatar, which are locked in a diplomatic crisis that has seen and its allies cut all ties with Doha over accusations of state support for Islamist extremist groups and ties to Shiite Iran.

Qatar has denied the allegations.

last month said Qatari pilgrims would be allowed to enter the kingdom for this year's hajj but imposed several travel restrictions, including flying in only on airlines approved by

The move sparked a backlash in Doha, where authorities said the pilgrimage had been used as political ammunition.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5 in what has become the worst political crisis to grip the Gulf region in decades.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, August 21 2017. 13:15 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU