Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation on Thursday did not state specifically that Israeli carriers are allowed to fly through its airspace, it said instead that Saudi airspace is now open to “all carriers that meet the requirements of the authority,” in order to consolidate Saudi Arabia’s position “as a global hub” for air travel.
The announcement constitutes a de facto lifting of the ban on Israeli carriers flying over the Kingdom. This was President Joe Biden’s big concession from the Saudis before setting foot in Jeddah. However, if you glance at the map of the Arabian Peninsula below, you’ll see that Israeli carriers looking to cut their trip to India by two hours by going over Arabia would still need permission from Oman which, to date, does not have diplomatic relations with the Zionist entity.
Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan was nevertheless delighted with the Saudis’ cryptic statement, and announced that “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.”
According to Haaretz, it’s going to take a while to arrange all the needed permits and other agreements between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and so, for now, Israeli carriers flying to India will still have to go down the Red Sea and around the foot of the peninsula. Meanwhile, Gulf states’ airlines have been flying Israeli passengers the shorter and cheaper way to India since the signing of the Abrahamic Accords.
So, many Arabs are reaping the benefits of the peace deal, Israelis not so much. Also, Israeli Muslims will now be able to fly directly from Ben Gurion International to Mecca for the Haj, the Muslim pilgrimage, where they all circle this giant black meteor idol and throw rocks at Satan near Mount Arafat.
And that’s the moral of the story, boys and girls: ya gotta make the Arabs happy.