This is a huge breakthrough for Israel’s relations with the Gulf states, and will open up huge economic opportunities for Israel and the Far East as well. This decision from Saudi Arabia represents another humiliating defeat for the neo-Nazi Palestinian Authority and the BDS Movement. Times are indeed changing.
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For years, I have been working to open the skies between Israel and the East. It was spectacular news two-and-a-half years ago when Air India received approval to fly directly to Israel.
Now there is another tremendous breakthrough. pic.twitter.com/V7zbrxGTQ5
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) September 2, 2020
In boon for Israel, Saudi Arabia gives permanent overfly rights to and from UAE
Netanyahu hails ‘another tremendous breakthrough,’ promises new policy will shorten and cheapen flights and open Israel up to the Far EastIn another breakthrough for Israel’s rapprochement with the Arab Gulf, and a major boon for Israeli air travel, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced that it will henceforth allow flights from “all countries” to cross over its airspace on flights to or from the United Arab Emirates.
Israeli leaders indicated they understood this to mean that Israeli flights can head to and from the Far East via Saudi Arabia and UAE, drastically reducing travel time.
The dramatic Saudi announcement, which followed Monday’s first-ever Israeli nonstop flight to Abu Dhabi — which for the first time crossed through Saudi airspace — was announced by the state-owned Saudi Press Agency, or SPA. The El Al flight from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv on Tuesday was also allowed to overfly Saudi Arabia, although, unlike Monday’s flight, no American delegation was on board.
“An official source at the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has stated that the Authority approved the request received from the General Civil Aviation Authority in the United Arab Emirates, which includes the desire to allow flights coming to and departing from the United Arab Emirates to all countries to pass through the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s airspace,” the SPA said.
The statement made no mention of the kingdom’s rival, Iran, nor Qatar, which Saudi Arabia is currently boycotting. Flights between those countries to the UAE would, in theory, not need to use the kingdom’s airspace.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the announcement as a “huge breakthrough” that will help the Israeli economy and reduce airfares.
“For years, I have been working to open the skies between Israel and the East. It was spectacular news two-and-a-half years ago when Air India received approval to fly directly to Israel,” he said in a filmed statement, standing near a huge map.
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