Saudi Arabia Opens Airspace To Israel Flights

Filed Under: El Al, Emirates

With Israel and the United Arab Emirates establishing diplomatic ties, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain seem to be warming up to Israel as well… at least when it comes to aviation rights.

Saudi Arabia & Bahrain open airspace to Israel

Jared Kushner has announced this week that both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have agreed to allow all flights to & from Israel to pass over their airspace, which has huge implications.

This follows an announcement last week that Saudi Arabia would formally give permission to all flights to & from the UAE to use its airspace. Since Saudi Arabia and the UAE are allies, the major implication there was that flights between Israel and the UAE could use Saudi Arabian airspace.

However, this latest announcement is even more significant. It means that all flights to & from Israel can use Saudi Arabian airspace, and not just flights between Israel and the UAE.

This will potentially shave a couple of hours off flights between Tel Aviv and destinations in Africa, Asia, etc.

Flights to & from Israel will be able to use Saudi Arabian airspace

Saudi Arabia’s complicated airspace up until now

Prior to this announcement we’ve seen Saudi Arabia slowly warm up to select Israeli flights using its airspace, though only under certain circumstances.

For example, last week EL AL operated a special charter flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, carrying a delegation from the US and Israel. This flight operated through Saudi Arabia airspace, where a majority of the journey was spent. This was the first time that an Israel registered aircraft used Saudi Arabian airspace.

Several weeks ago, Etihad Airways operated a couple of cargo flights between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, and those flights specifically avoided Saudi Arabian airspace.

In other markets there has been inconsistent treatment of flights to & from Israel. For example, both Air India and EL AL have flown between India and Israel. Air India had permission to use Saudi Arabian airspace…

Meanwhile EL AL didn’t have permission to use Saudi Arabian airspace…

Bottom line

It’s fantastic to see the pace at which restrictions are being eased in the Middle East. Just last week an Israeli plane used Saudi Arabian airspace for the first time. Then it was announced that flights between Israel and the UAE could use Saudi Arabian airspace. Now it has been announced that all flights to & from Israel can use Saudi Arabian airspace.

Man, what strange times when EL AL can use Saudi Arabian airspace, but Qatar Airways can’t

Are you surprised to see Saudi Arabia open its airspace to all flights to & from Israel?

  1. Great news!

    Minor correction, you note that both Elal and Air India fly Delhi to Tel Aviv. It is only Air India who flies that route. Elal flies Mumbai to Tel Aviv.

  2. “This permission to use Saudi Arabian airspace will apply regardless of what country a plane is registered in, meaning that even an Israeli airline could operate over Saudi Arabia, assuming it is enroute to the UAE.”

    What’s the source to this? It wasn’t so for the India route – Israeli planes weren’t granted permission.

  3. @E The India route is not enroute to the UAE. It is enroute to India. Only flights to/from the UAE will be allowed to use Saudi airspace without special permission.

    @Lucky, it would be interesting to think about how all of these changes will affect El Al. Given El Al’s current financial situation, Tel Aviv seems to be one of few markets where US carriers are adding flights. Turkish has for years now had a strong market connecting passengers to and from Israel. If Emirates joins the game, how would that affect El Al, given that Emirates would not offer nonstop flights, except to the UAE?

  4. Amazing!! Congratulations to El Al, Ethiad and Emirates, well deserved.

    We are so thrilled for the people of Israel and the UAE.
    These two countries will become even stronger and more prosperous together, two of the strongest countries of the Middle East.

    The Qatar blockade is very complex and so do not think it will be resolved quickly.

  5. am i too early for the political comments to storm this comment section?

    Will the ICJ’s verdict on the QR’s right to use the Emirati/Bahraini/Saudi and Egyptian airspace be implemented any time soon? Heck, if Israel is able to operate flights over KSA, then Qatar would be able to as well!

  6. Careful Jan, you should know the rule: never give DJT credit for anything. Orange Man Bad, and all that…. šŸ˜‰

  7. This is what happens in Trumpā€™s America: no wars; troops out of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan; peace deals in Afghanistan; talks with North Korea; friendship with Brazil under the great Bolsonaro; renewed ties with India; a push for peace between Israel and Palestine (more work needs to be done because Palestine needs more territory and self rule); a historical deal between Israel and the UAE which Trump pushed for. All this at the same time American jobs are being protected with the USMCA, H1B visas that hurt American tech workers are reduced, and China is called out for unfairly taking advantage of us. Trump is the most anti war President since the 1920s. Thatā€™s a good thing.

  8. @jackson Henderson Trump hasn’t pulled us out of any wars, is bombing more people than ever, and has added troops to the middle east. He’s vetoed every bill to pull out of Yemen and has, and pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal. He backed a coup in Bolivia, staged a coup in Venezuela, and increased sanctions throughout the world. The military-industrial complex is setting record sales as the US military budget balloons.

  9. This is a Trump election stunt strong-armed by slumlord Kushner and the more these guys pull the wool over people’s eyes the more the chances of the Orange Shyster returning in ’20. Would you like that Lucky? Another beneficiary is the perennially crooked Netenyahu desperately trying to evade prison. Evidently, all these huzzas by Zionists and America’s Arab quislings completely ignore that fact the Original Sin in the ME has been compounded. You cannot solve the problems in the ME by pretending that the Palestinian genocide by Israel isn’t happening.

  10. @ Indopithecus oh please… These are historic times for peace in the Middle East. What genocide is going on right now by Israel? The only middle eastern state that doesnā€™t throw gay people off roofs? If Lucky and Ford walked into the West Bank or Gaza, and displayed affection for eachother, they donā€™t stand a very good chance of coming out alive! Whereas Israel is the only state in the entire Middle East that does not discriminate against anyone.

    Claiming that there is some ongoing cloaked genocide by Israel is absurd, and a total lack of any middle eastern history or studies.

  11. @Sharon ‘The Qatar blockade is very complex and so do not think it will be resolved quickly.’ There is NOTHING COMPLEX about the blockade of Qatar. It was nothing more than an attempted power play and cash grab that went so wrong that the UAE and Saudis don’t want to lose face by backing down.

  12. @SullyofDoha The Qatari absolute monarchy royal family supports the Muslim Brotherhood Organization, Iran and Hezbollah who are destroying the Middle East and the enemy of the west!

    I understand that you gotta defend Qatar cause you work there and you are not happy they are loosing money and so you are risking loosing your job šŸ™‚ but anyway this is just a hint you are just a foreigner to Qataris so stop defending them šŸ˜‰

  13. @Ghadir wrote:
    (The Qatari absolute monarchy royal family supports the Muslim Brotherhood Organization, Iran
    and Hezbollah who are destroying the Middle East and the enemy of the west!)

    And the Saudis and the Emiratis haven’t supported anyone in the past and are not supporting anyone currently? Their involvement in Yemen, Syria and Libya is not a secret.
    Qatar simply refused to bow down and kissed their feet. So this is their punishment for being the bad boy.

  14. As usual it takes fewer than 5 posts for the TDS-infected blm trolls to show up and ruin a perfectly good discussion. If even 1% of these would actually carry out their promise of moving to Canada after Nov 3 the country would be much better off. Unfortunately we all know what kind of hypocrites they are and how they will continue to leech off our society after Trump wins again with bigger margins.

  15. Not surprised. Saudi Arabia has had open channels with Israel predating Trump. Saudiā€™s real threat is from Iran and not Israel and with that they knew they had to work together. Itā€™s been thought that if Israel needed to attack Iran that Saudi Arabia would allow use of their airspace.

  16. @Abe plenty of discrimination in Israel
    This is purely an election stunt
    Nobel peace prize lol when there is civil unrest at his own front door Heā€™s a loud mouth troglodyte

  17. NOT involving “Trump”, “TDS” or any of the factors which seem to infuriate everybody, The Saudi difference of attitude towards Israel and Qatar is easy to understand:

    Regarding Israel, they all agree that they have one main enemy: Iran.

    Regarding Qatar, the ALLEGED reason for the boycott was Qatar playing too buddy-buddy with organizations disliked by its neighbors, which may be true, untrue, or probably a little bit of both. Another REAL reason, not acknowledged, was that Qatar’s neighbors found the country a little too competitive on many fronts.

    What was however incredibly stupid, in the action taken by the Saudis and the Emiratis who managed to get Egypt on board, was that it completely pushed Qatar into the arms of Iran just to keep existing. The map alone explains it. They thought that Qatar would immediately relent, it didn’t. For Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, Qatar befriending Iran by necessity is now far more a threat than Qatar’s previous” dangerous liaisons”. Everybody knows it but nobody wants to lose face.

    NOW is probably the time for” THE US” (not “Trump”, not “TDS”) in concert with the EU, the Saudis and the Emiratis, to bring an end to the Qatar crisis. It will probably happen in concert with some Israeli concessions to the Palestinians. Israel is just as eager to see ALL its neighbors unite to get rid of the Iranian threat and the Qataris (probably the most practical entity in the region, their reaction to the blockade proves it) both want to get out of this quagmire and to establish with Israel the same relations as the Emiratis.

    Give it time and not having to worry with the US election. It will be done within one year.

  18. @Ghadir KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) has done nothing for people in need. Take Myanmar & China, It is the USA that has come to the help of Rohingya & Uighur Muslims. KSA does not want to offend the Chinese. But they sure have no problems Blowing up places of worship in Yemen or Killing 30 young cadets in Libya by using Chinese Drones. KSA also has no problem with using Mercenaries in Pakistan to Blow up Shia Mosques with Hundreds of worshiping children in them.
    By the way this announcement By KSA that they will not recognize Israel till Palestinians have their State is only for Public consumption.they do not want a Revolt in their own Country,which supports the Palestinian Rights.

  19. @Jackson Henderson

    The UAE and Israel were never at war, so how was a peace deal brokered? The ties between the 2 countries long predate president Trump, they just brought that relationship out of the closet and into the open, so to speak.


    It definitely is going on. Gay people may not be discriminated against, but Palestinians in Israel definitely are (to say nothing of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza). A cultural genocide at least is taking place…

    Heck, there is discrimination in Israel among Jews themselves, with a hierarchy depending on where you are from. American and Western European Jews at the top, Black Jews on the bottom, and the rest distributed throughout…

  20. @Amos – you cool with Agent Orange lying to the public during the early pandemic days even as privately he was acknowledging how bad was?

    (we’ll put aside the racism, misogyny, other endless lies, grift, xenophobia, broken promises, Russia collusion, enriching himself with the presidency, nepotism, etc. etc. etc….just focus on the pandemic)

  21. It is funny to see Pakistanis defending their employer “Qatar” , you guys know nothing about how Qatari people think or feel about you! you guys are nothing but slaves building their tiny country with the lowest cost possible ! šŸ™‚

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