Opening Saudi airspace to “all airlines”, including Israel Airlines, significantly shortens flights between Israel and Asian destinations.
A Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv on Thursday became the first commercial airliner to cross Saudi airspace en route to Israel since the kingdom opened its airspace to all airlines in July.
Riyadh opened its entire airspace last month, which includes Israeli airlines announce. In doing so, Saudi Arabia paved the way for airlines to fly over the kingdom, significantly reducing flight times between Israel and major destinations in Asia.
The Civil Aviation Authority in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the time issued a statement saying:
In the context of the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to fulfill its obligations under the Chicago Convention of 1944 that stipulates non-discrimination between civil aircraft in international air transport, and in support of the Kingdom’s efforts to enhance the Kingdom’s position as a global hub linking three continents, and to improve international air connectivity, the General Aviation Authority announces The Civil Aviation Authority announced its decision to open the Kingdom’s airspace to all airlines that meet the requirements of the Authority in the field of overflight.
Media reports said that a flight tracking service showed that a Cathay Pacific plane flew over the United Arab Emirates and the Persian Gulf on Thursday before crossing the Saudi coast near the city of Dammam. Then the plane flew over northern Saudi Arabia and Jordan and entered Israeli territory over the Dead Sea.
Reportedly, another Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv earlier this week took another route, flying northwest through China, Kazakhstan and Turkey and across the Mediterranean into Israeli airspace.
According to media reports, Saudi Arabia previously granted special permission for some flights from India and the United Arab Emirates to cross its airspace en route to the Jewish state.
The Israeli national airline, El Al, is expected to receive final approval to use Saudi airspace soon.
The Saudi authorities are also expected to allow direct flights from Israel to Mecca, making it easier for Israeli Muslims to perform the annual Hajj. Until now, Muslim believers had to take a long bus journey from Israel to Jordan before boarding a flight to Mecca.
(Article found in Jewish News Syndicate Back. Translated by Florian Markle.)
“Alcohol buff. Troublemaker. Introvert. Student. Social media lover. Web ninja. Bacon fan. Reader.”