Saudi Arabia opens airspace to Israeli airlines — RT World News


Riyadh has agreed to allow overflights by all carriers in a move hailed by the White House as promoting stability in the Middle East

President Joe Biden takes credit for Saudi Arabia’s decision to open its airspace to overflights by all carriers, which he says will promote greater stability in the Middle East by further integrating Israel to his neighbours.

“Today I will be the first President of the United States to fly from Israel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,” Biden said on Friday as he began the second leg of his Middle East trip. “As we mark this important moment, Saudi Arabia’s decision can help build momentum for Israel’s continued integration into the region, including with Saudi Arabia.”

Biden said Riyadh’s historic move marks a “an important step towards building a more integrated and stable Middle East region.” He added, “While this opening has long been discussed, now, thanks to months of constant diplomacy between my administration and Saudi Arabia, it is finally a reality.”

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) revealed the new policy on Thursday evening, saying it reflected the kingdom’s policy. “fineness” fulfill its obligations under a 1944 international covenant calling for non-discrimination in civil aviation. The move will also bolster Saudi Arabia’s efforts to cement its position as a global air hub connecting three continents.

Having to circumvent a country’s airspace spanning 830,000 square miles has inflated flight times and fuel consumption for Israeli flights to Asian destinations such as China and India. The new policy is expected to reduce travel hours for some routes and will allow Israeli Muslims to take direct charter flights for the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

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“It will be a new era that will bring Asia closer to Israel,” Israir CEO Uri Sirkis told Tel Aviv radio station 103 FM.

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