Saudi Arabia Opens Airspace To All Israel Flights

Saudi Arabia Opens Airspace To All Israel Flights

16

Here’s a fantastic development for international aviation…

Saudi Arabia stops restricting airspace

Saudi Arabia doesn’t recognize Israel, and therefore historically Saudi Arabia hasn’t allowed Israeli airlines or flights to & from Israel to use its airspace. This has meant that lots of flights to & from Israel have taken roundabout routings.

This will finally be changing — Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has announced that Saudi Arabia’s airspace is now open to all carriers, including Israeli ones. The country explained that the decision comes within the framework of the country’s keenness to fulfill its obligation under the Chicago Convention of 1944, and for the country to enhance international air connectivity.

This development was revealed just ahead of US President Joe Biden visiting Saudi Arabia, after having visited Israel. This is expected to be part of a larger deal involving Saudi Arabia, which could also see new nonstop flights between Saudi Arabia & Israel for Muslim pilgrims.

Saudi Arabia is opening its airspace to all airlines

This will shave hours off some flights

Saudi Arabia opening its airspace is only the latest step of Israel starting to get more normalized relations in the region. In mid-2020, we saw Israel & the United Arab Emirates establish diplomatic relations, which was a big step for the region. With this, we’ve seen a countless number of flights added between the two countries.

Historically Saudi Arabia restricted its airspace to all airlines flying to & from Israel. However, with Saudi Arabia & the United Arab Emirates being allies, Saudi Arabia opened its airspace to all flights between Israeli & the United Arab Emirates. That has allowed flights between the two countries to spend most of their time over Saudi Arabian airspace.

EL AL flight path between Tel Aviv and Dubai

Now this is being taken a step further, as all flights to & from Israel can use Saudi Arabian airspace. For example, take a look at the circuitous routing that EL AL flights between Tel Aviv and Bangkok have needed to take, having to fly along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, before passing south of Yemen and Oman. Going forward this flight will be significantly shorter.

EL AL flight path between Tel Aviv and Bangkok

Bottom line

Saudi Arabia is opening its airspace to all airlines, meaning that all flights to & from Israel can use Saudi Arabian airspace going forward. Previously there was an exception for flights between Israeli and the United Arab Emirates, but that has now been expanded significantly.

I’d say there has never been a better time for airspace being open, except for that whole Russia thing…

What do you make of Saudi Arabia finally opening its airspace to all airlines?

Conversations (16)
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  1. MJ Guest

    I think you mean "Israel" in many of the places you wrote "Israeli."

  2. Peter Volny Guest

    Yet another victory for Donald Trump. Let's hope Biden doesn't screw it up.

    1. Julia Guest

      Nothing to do with Trump, just a realization that these countries hate Iran.

      Also, many of these GCC countries covet Israel's spying technology (which they will be using on their own citizens, natch).

  3. VT-CIE Gold

    Off-topic: I’d rather there not be so may ampersands in the article.

  4. Pierre Gold

    Maybe this will put an end to some ridiculous conversations such as:

    - "Jeddah Control to unknown traffic: Be aware of Emirates Heavy at FL 340 at 9 hours"

    - "Jeddah Control, Emirates Heavy at 9hours acknowledged by Unknown Traffic. Have a good day"

  5. Airfarer Gold

    Any odds as to whether Brandon claims this because he visited?

    1. Sam Guest

      He should. Trump would. Any sitting president would. Next.

  6. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Not to turn political but this, along with access to Israel by some Arab states, is just a recognition that the common and largest threat to the western half of the Middle East, Arab world and Israel included, is Iran

  7. Fred ngatar Guest

    Saudi Arabia and Israel are bloody brothers when the fifth just stay away and watch because end of the day the will have dinner together this is something IRAN DOESN'T KNOW

  8. Euro Member

    Do you mean that Israel and the United Arab Emirates established diplomatic relations in 2020 rather than Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates?

  9. jeffk Guest

    You are only reporting 1/2 the story. Israel ceded 2 islands at the entrance to the Red Sea to Saudi control and international peace keepers were moved off the islands. Thus, this was a trade off....not something that was done out of the goodness of their hearts and the 1944 Treaty. https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-approves-deal-transfer-red-sea-islands-saudi-arabia-report-says

    1. Sam Guest

      Ben reported the only relevant part to this blog. If they said it was to respect the treaty, that what he should report. I don't come here for anything but AV stuff. Definitely not investigative world news where he "digs deeper" into reasons why that digress from the AV news.

    2. Duke Guest

      @Sam: Personally I prefer it when Ben doesn’t simply “report what someone else said”, because his own insight and analysis usually adds some perspective and context that would otherwise be missed. Equally, comments from others which add insight and context are what makes the comment section worth reading. If you only want regurgitated company-line PR/marketing nonsense, go read The Points Guy

    3. ugoren New Member

      Israel didn't cede the islands, which it hasn't controlled for over 40 years.
      Egypt did.

      Yes, Israel approved this, an approval required under the terms of Israeli-Egyptian peace. And yes, this is part of the deal allowing flights.

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Pierre Gold

Maybe this will put an end to some ridiculous conversations such as: - "Jeddah Control to unknown traffic: Be aware of Emirates Heavy at FL 340 at 9 hours" - "Jeddah Control, Emirates Heavy at 9hours acknowledged by Unknown Traffic. Have a good day"

1
iv Guest

Maybe you should ask Dump Truck.

1
Sam Guest

He should. Trump would. Any sitting president would. Next.

1
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