Qatar, Bahrain Resume Direct Flights After 6-Year Break

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The decision came about a month after Qatar and Bahrain announced in a joint statement their decision to restore diplomatic ties.

National airlines of Qatar and Bahrain, Qatar Airways and Gulf Air, said on Wednesday that they will resume direct flights between the two countries on May 25 after a six-year pause due to a diplomatic conflict.

According to the new schedule on the airlines' web sites, they intend to make one daily flight each, which is almost seven times less than they did before the conflict, when both companies made 93 flights per week in both directions.

Bahrain’s Civil Aviation Affairs agency confirmed the resumption of flights “in accordance with what was agreed upon between the concerned authorities in the two brotherly countries”, according to the kingdom’s news agency.

The move follows the resumption of diplomatic ties between Bahrain and Qatar, after a top-level meeting last month in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia took the lead in rebuilding relations with Qatar in 2021, ending an embargo that had been in place for three-and-a-half years and was joined by the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.

However, while flight and trade links were restored between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, Bahrain had resisted until April.

Trade between Manama and Doha has dropped over the past 21 years, according to figures from the Observatory of Economic Complexity. 

Exports from Qatar to the kingdom have decreased at an annual rate of 24 percent from $25 million in 2000 to $70,600 in 2021.

Trade in the opposite direction fell by 31 percent, from $48 million in 2000 to just $17,500 in 2021.