Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi / Flash 90
An Israir airplane on the Tel-Aviv to Eilat route at Ben Gurion International Airport, August 8, 2020.

Israel’s lower-cost Israir airline was forced to cancel Tuesday’s flight to Dubai after Saudi Arabia refused to grant permission for the carrier to fly through its airspace.

Last November (2020) Saudi Arabia granted permission for Israeli airlines to fly through its airspace, hours before the first Tel Aviv-Dubai flight departed the Jewish State.


But the Israir flight, scheduled to take off from Ben Gurion International Airport, was held up for five hours while efforts to resolve the issue continued.

An El Al flight to Dubai departed on time in the afternoon. Likewise, an Arkia flight also took off for Dubai with permission to fly through Saudi airspace.

Israir finally cancelled its flight and passengers returned to their homes. Those in Dubai who were to return later instead were referred to hotels, according to the Hebrew-language Globes business news site.

It now appears the next Israir flight to Dubai will take off on time.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Havat told on Tuesday evening, “The flight was finally approved. It was a technical issue.”

Further discussion revealed that the “technical issue” involved a problem with the airspace request submitted by Israir.

A new request must be submitted by Israir for the next flight – but this requirement has nothing to do with Riyadh.

“Every flight needs a request,” Havat explained. “Not only from the Saudis.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.