Qatar Airways has announced two new destinations, even as the airspace blockade on its territory by neighboring nations was restated July 5.

The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE, meeting in Cairo, said restrictions on the Doha-based carrier would continue after they said the Gulf nation had rejected demands that included ceasing support for extremist Islamist elements and curtailing both its Al Jazeera broadcasting network and its conciliatory attitude toward Iran.

The four nations announced last month they were halting all air and land movements between them and Qatar and closing their airspace to services to and from Qatar. The move has caused Qatar Airways operational problems, in that flights to and from Doha now have to head east over the Gulf before turning over Iran to head northwest to Europe or southeast to Asia.

However, in what the surrounding nations may take as a sign of defiance, Qatar Airways said it was expediting the launch of two new destinations—to Prague, in the Czech Republic and to Sohar, in neighboring Oman, by the end of August 2017.

It added that several more announcements of new destinations would “follow shortly.”

Prague will gain a daily service from Aug. 21, while Sohar will be served 3X-weekly from Aug. 8. Both services will be operated by Airbus A320s in 144-seat, two-class configurations including 12 business-class seats.

Qatar Airways began a service to Nice, France, July 4 and plans to start services to Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, July 17.

“Qatar Airways’ announcement today comes at a time when we are accelerating our global expansion plans by expediting the launch of these two new destinations,” Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said.

Other new destinations planned for the remainder of this year and 2018 include Canberra, Australia; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; San Francisco, US; and Santiago, Chile. A total of 25 new destination launches will take place throughout 2017-2018.

Alan Dron