UAE-bound Israeli commercial flights allowed to cross Saudi airspace
Saudi Arabia’s government has officially agreed to let Israeli commercial flights cross its airspace on their way to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The agreement was reached on Monday evening, just hours before Israel’s first commercial flight between Tel Aviv and Dubai scheduled for Tuesday morning. The Israir Airlines flight risked cancelation before Saudi Arabia granted long-sought overflight permission to Israel, according to Israeli media reports.
According to Israeli TV network, the agreement was only good for the next four days and only covered flights to Dubai.
It was not immediately clear if the permission extended to Israel’s carrier El Al, which is also set to launch regular flights to the UAE next month.
An unnamed Israeli official familiar with the matter, however, said there was a “green light” in principle, but the formalities had not yet been sorted out.
The direct flights are an offshoot of normalization deals the Tel Aviv reached lately with the UAE and Bahrain.
FlyDubai operated the first direct tourist flight from Tel Aviv to Dubai earlier in November, carrying some 174 businessmen and tourists on historic flight FZ8194 over Saudi airspace.