The United Arab Emirates said two Qatari fighter jets “dangerously approached” two UAE passenger flights on Monday, sparking a swift denial by Doha in the third such incident between the Gulf rivals.
Qatar and the Emirates have rowed repeatedly over alleged airspace violations this year, as a diplomatic crisis in the Gulf enters its 10th month.
The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority condemned the “reckless manner in which two Qatari fighter jets dangerously approached two UAE-registered commercial aircraft while flying over Bahraini airspace today, in a flagrant and serious threat to civil aviation and air navigation safety”.
One of the aircraft was forced to “do an emergency maneuver to avoid colliding with the Qatari jets”, the aviation authority said in a statement published by the official WAM news agency.
Qatar “categorically” denied the accusation in a statement released by its civil aviation authority.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt cut all ties with Qatar in June over Qatar’s alleged ties to extremists and Iran.
Qatar, which denies the ‘accusations’, is barred from using the airspace of the four states, although UAE airlines are not technically banned from operating flights through Qatari airspace.
Abu Dhabi is now looking at rerouting flights to Bahrain to avoid Qatari airspace.