Flights between Israel and the United Arab Emirates are going to be able to fly over Saudi Arabia as the kingdom on Wednesday stated that all services to and from the UAE will be able to cross its airspace.
Saudi Arabia bans mostly the flights that are coming to and from Israel from using its airspace, though since 2018 it has allowed Air India to fly over the nation to Tel Aviv.
The decision, which the kingdom's aviation authority said came at the request of the UAE, follows a historic agreement last month between Abu Dhabi and Israel to normalize ties. All flights to and from the UAE can use Saudi airspace, the state news agency reported, citing the aviation authority, without mentioning Israel.
Flights From Israel to UAE Will be Allowed to Fly Over Saudi
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, without citing Saudi Arabia, said Israeli planes can fly directly to the UAE, tracing the flight path on a map with his finger over the kingdom. The decision cuts flying time between the Middle East states by several hours.
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud said shortly after the airspace report that the kingdom's position in support of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital had not changed. Emirati and Israeli officials will allow their citizens to visit each other's countries once they normalize ties and have said there would be direct service.
Those traveling from Israel will gain better access to hundreds of global destinations via Abu Dhabi and Dubai hubs once flight launch. Israel's El Al this week flew through Saudi airspace carrying U.S. and Israeli delegations from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, the first official flight by an Israeli carrier over the kingdom. The return flight also used Saudi airspace.
(With agency inputs)