Israeli airlines obtain permit to fly over Saudi airspace
Permission reduces trips between Israel, other destinations
Israeli airlines have obtained Saudi permission to cross its airspace, Israeli media reported.
The official I24NEWS channel said Thursday that the Israeli airlines El Al, Israir and Arkia, obtained the Saudi approval to fly over its airspace, and the approval took effect Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia will also allow other foreign companies to operate their flights to Israel via its airspace.
The Saudi permit will drastically shorten trips from and to Israel with other destinations.
On July 15, Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation body announced the opening of its airspace to all air carriers that meet the authority’s requirements to access its airspace.
Since the declaration did not exclude Israeli carriers, it effectively lifted restrictions on flights to and from Israel, which was welcomed by Tel Aviv.
Following the decision, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan affirmed that “this does not mean diplomatic relations with Israel, nor does it mean any other steps.”
Saudi Arabia has no diplomatic relations with Israel and has stated repeatedly that it will not normalize relations with Tel Aviv until the Palestinian issue is resolved.
* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat