Cairo: Egypt starts later Saturday flights via Oman to repatriate around 3,000 Egyptians stranded in Qatar due to an outbreak of the new coronavirus amid a bitter diplomatic row between Cairo and Doha.
The 3,000 will be transported aboard flights of a foreign airline from Doha to the Omani capital Muscat where they will be picked up by Egyptian carriers on Cairo-bound flights, the Egyptian civil aviation authorities said.
The Egyptian carriers EgyptAir and Air Cairo will operate 18 flights to Muscat to transport the Egyptians brought in from Qatar, aviation sources said.
In recent years, ties have strained between Egypt and Qatar, which is a staunch financial and diplomatic baker of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt broke off diplomatic and transportation links with Qatar over its support for extremist groups.
The Saudi-led bloc has announced a raft of conditions for mending fences with Doha. The demands include Qatar’s severance of links with militant and terror groups, scaling down ties with Iran and shutting down Al Jazeera TV, seen as a mouthpiece of the Brotherhood.
Qatar has refused the conditions, saying they violate its sovereignty.
The Arab quartet has accused Qatar of lacking seriousness in resolving the crisis.