Israeli and other international airlines have received official Saudi Arabian government approval to fly through the kingdom’s airspace en route to and from any destination, according to a report late Wednesday by Israel’s KAN News public broadcaster.
Up to this point, Saudi Arabia has not allowed any airline to fly through its airspace en route to or from the Jewish State.
A commercial flight operated by Cathay Pacific Airline that departed from Hong Kong en route to Tel Aviv entered Saudi airspace Thursday for the first time since the Riyadh government announced the new policy last month a few hours before US President Joe Biden flew from Tel Aviv to Jeddah.
The aircraft passed over northern Saudi Arabia and Jordan, entering Israeli airspace north of the Dead Sea. Earlier this week, the same airline flew the Hong Kong-Tel Aviv trip via Turkish airspace, entering Israeli territory from the Mediterranean Sea.
With the new policy, direct charter flights to Saudi Arabia will be available for Israeli Muslims seeking to travel direct on the annual haj pilgrimage. Moreover, Israeli flights to and from India, Thailand, China, Australia and other destinations will save several hours of flight time as well.