DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria’s transport minister says Qatar Airways’ request to fly through Syrian airspace has been approved. Airlines have avoided Syria since the civil war broke out in 2011, causing long detours.

Ali Hammoud said Monday that the measure will save Qatar’s state-owned airline time and money.

Qatar Airways did not immediately comment on the report.

Hammoud said the detour around Syrian airspace had cost airlines up to 90 minutes. He said Syria agreed to Qatar’s request because it has not stopped Syrian airlines from flying to Doha.

In a diplomatic row with its Gulf neighbors, Qatar had been banned from flying over Saudi and Bahraini airspace, costing the flagship carrier significant revenue losses. Qatar Airways has since been allowed over Bahrain because of waivers negotiated through the International Civil Aviation Organization.