Saudi Arabia opens up airspace to Israeli airlines | World Defense

Saudi Arabia opens up airspace to Israeli airlines

Scorpion

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Saudi Arabia says it will open its airspace to all air carriers, paving the way for more overflights to and from Israel – a further sign that relations between the two countries are warming.

The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said on Thursday the country’s airspace was now open to all carriers that meet its requirements for overflights, in line with international conventions that say there should be no discrimination between civil aircraft.

The decision will “complement the efforts aimed at consolidating the kingdom’s position as a global hub connecting three continents and to enhance international air connectivity”, GACA added in a statement.

The announcement of an open-skies policy by Riyadh will mean shorter flights from Asia to Israel, as airlines serving those routes will no longer be required to take long detours around Saudi Arabia en route to Israel.

United States President Joe Biden, who is set to fly to the kingdom from Israel on Friday as part of a regional tour, welcomed Saudi Arabia’s move.

“This decision paves the way for a more integrated, stable, and secure Middle East region, which is vital for the security and prosperity of the United States and the American people, and for the security and prosperity of Israel,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

Earlier on Thursday, a US official told Reuters that Saudi Arabia would soon grant Israeli airlines unfettered overflight access and permit direct charter flights from Israel for Muslims participating in the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.

‘Blossoming relations’​

Israel and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations, and the kingdom does not recognise Israel as a state – one possible reason why the Saudi statement did not refer to Israel by name.

Behind the scenes, however, the two sides have been working together on security issues for some time, as both are concerned by the growing influence of their common enemy Iran in the region.

Saudi Arabia has actually been allowing the use of its airspace for flights between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain since its two Gulf neighbours established diplomatic relations with Israel in 2020 under US mediation.

In 2020, Saudi air traffic control allowed an Israeli plane on its way to India to fly through its airspace to avoid bad weather, according to a report.

In a guest article for The Washington Post earlier this week, Biden said he was happy he would be the first president to fly directly from Israel to the Saudi city of Jeddah on Friday, calling the trip a “small symbol of the blossoming relations and steps towards normalisation between Israel and the Arab world”.

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Scorpion

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It's amazing as to how much Iran has helped to foster the relationship between these two countries.;)

Iran is totally irrelevant. This issue is related to the two strategic Saudi islands Tiran and Sanafir which was under Egypt administration since 1948 and part of the Camp David agreement. Saudi Arabia regained control over these two islands after the Egyptian-Saudi maritime border delimitation. The alteration of the Camp David agreement was the reason behind allowing Israel airlines to use Saudi airspace. This whole issue was Saudi Egypt US agreement. Israel was not involved in any direct agreement with Saudi Arabia. The signed airspace agreement has not even mentioned Israel by name.
 

Bayernulan

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Iran is totally irrelevant. This issue is related to the two strategic Saudi islands Tiran and Sanafir which was under Egypt administration since 1948 and part of the Camp David agreement. Saudi Arabia regained control over these two islands after the Egyptian-Saudi maritime border delimitation. The alteration of the Camp David agreement was the reason behind allowing Israel airlines to use Saudi airspace. This whole issue was Saudi Egypt US agreement. Israel was not involved in any direct agreement with Saudi Arabia. The signed airspace agreement has not even mentioned Israel by name.
I wouldn't say so - quite on the contrary actually.

It isn't just about the regulation pertaining to a certain flight corridor - it goes into direct flight/landings in Saudi-Arabia as your posted article states:
Earlier on Thursday, a US official told Reuters that Saudi Arabia would soon grant Israeli airlines unfettered overflight access and permit direct charter flights from Israel for Muslims participating in the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.

As your posted article also states:
Behind the scenes, however, the two sides have been working together on security issues for some time, as both are concerned by the growing influence of their common enemy Iran in the region.

Taking into account that Saudi-Arabia's biggest perceived threat besides former Iraq is indeed Iran, and Israel sharing the same perception - automatically forms a basis for "common interests" - independent of their otherwise existing religious/political agendas.

It could even be the prelude for IAF aircraft to not necessarily landing/refueling in Saudi-Arabia - but being granted overflight permission to US bases in the Gulf region in order to carry out strikes towards Iran.
 

Scorpion

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I wouldn't say so - quite on the contrary actually.

It isn't just about the regulation pertaining to a certain flight corridor - it goes into direct flight/landings in Saudi-Arabia as your posted article states:
Earlier on Thursday, a US official told Reuters that Saudi Arabia would soon grant Israeli airlines unfettered overflight access and permit direct charter flights from Israel for Muslims participating in the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.

As your posted article also states:
Behind the scenes, however, the two sides have been working together on security issues for some time, as both are concerned by the growing influence of their common enemy Iran in the region.

Taking into account that Saudi-Arabia's biggest perceived threat besides former Iraq is indeed Iran, and Israel sharing the same perception - automatically forms a basis for "common interests" - independent of their otherwise existing religious/political agendas.

It could even be the prelude for IAF aircraft to not necessarily landing/refueling in Saudi-Arabia - but being granted overflight permission to US bases in the Gulf region in order to carry out strikes towards Iran.

conjectures mate though direct flight for Muslims from Israel to Saudi Arabia would if it happen be going through the same system which would require clearance via Jordanian authority before hand.
 

Scorpion

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Taking into account that Saudi-Arabia's biggest perceived threat besides former Iraq is indeed Iran, and Israel sharing the same perception - automatically forms a basis for "common interests" - independent of their otherwise existing religious/political agendas.

It could even be the prelude for IAF aircraft to not necessarily landing/refueling in Saudi-Arabia - but being granted overflight permission to US bases in the Gulf region in order to carry out strikes towards Iran.

No doubt but that requires the Israelis to set on the table and discuss peace plan with the Palestinians. FYI, Israeli military personnel serve in US base in Qatar already.
 

Bayernulan

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No doubt but that requires the Israelis to set on the table and discuss peace plan with the Palestinians. FYI, Israeli military personnel serve in US base in Qatar already.
To "discuss" peace plans? or actually make one? after all Jerusalem has been made already the capital.

In a foreseeable retreat/reduction of US forces in the Gulf and other areas - (China is now their main target/concern) the USA could only rely onto Israel, some Gulf states and Saudi-Arabia in regards to Iran. If the IAF is also to take a share into filling a void by the US military in the area - then necessary provisions/organizational tasks need to be put into place in that regard.

If these US plans (reorganization) will bear fruit - well that would be another issue.
 
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