Qatar and Bahrain were the last countries to find common ground with the spat that began in 2017 when Qatar’s gulf neighbors started a blockage (read more here) preventing Qatar Airways from using their airspace and take-off and landing at their airports.
The main reason behind this move was that other countries deemed Qatar being too close to Iran (Sunni & Shia conflict) and that the Arab language TV channel Al Jazeera in Doha broadcasting news critical of other neighboring countries (a big nono in the region).
The blockage ended in early 2021 (read more here), and Qatar Airways soon started to fly and provide connectivity from neighboring countries.
It has, however, taken until May 25, 2023, when Qatar Airways and Gulf Air could again provide connectivity between Doha and Manama.
There are six flights per day between Doha and Managa in mid-June—three flights by both Qatar Airways and Gulf Air.
The blockage hurt Qatar Airways’ business because most of the routes to/from Doha were over its Gulf neighbors, forcing it to take very circuitous routes around them.
Especially, Bahrain’s air space around the gulf was surprisingly significant, making it very challenging for Qatar Airways to maneuver.
I am glad Qatar and GCC countries found common ground in early 2021 and sanity returned. The last piece was to re-establish relations and flights between Doha and Manama that began last Thursday.