JEDDAH – Planes coming from Israel will now be able to fly over Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom opens airspace for all carriers.
Flights coming from Israel were previously banned from using Saudi airspace.
Air carriers will be able to fly into and out of Saudi Arabia’s airspace, in a move welcomed by U.S. vice president Joe Biden who is scheduled to visit the Kingdom on Friday.
In accordance with international conventions, Saudi Arabia’s airspace is now open to all civil aircraft meeting the country’s requirements for overflights.
According to GACA, the decision will enhance international air connectivity and consolidate the Kingdom’s position as a global hub connecting three continents.
On some flights to and from Israel, circumventing Saudi Arabian airspace increased flight times and fuel consumption.
U.S. President Joe Biden hailed the decision as an important step toward building a more integrated and stable Middle East.
On this day, I will be the first US president to fly from Israel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. These events can help build momentum toward Israel’s deeper integration into the region, including with Saudi Arabia.US President Joe Biden
According to Reuters, Saudi Arabia will soon grant unfettered overflight access to Israeli airlines and permit direct charter flights from Israel for Muslims participating in the annual hajj pilgrimage.
During Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Islam’s birthplace, the Saudi government said nothing about possible bilateral developments. As well, Israel has avoided drawing such connections.
While there are no official ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia agreed to allow flights between the two countries to cross its territory in 2020