The first Israeli commercial flight to the United Arab Emirates touched down in Dubai on Tuesday, passing over Saudi Arabia after receiving last-minute overflight permission from the kingdom.

The Israir flight took just over three hours, less than half the time it would take if the plan had to fly around Saudi Arabia, and marked a major milestone in burgeoning ties between Israel and its new Gulf allies.

“A truly festive day,” Hagi Kenaan, the plane’s captain, said in a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “It’s a great privilege to reach this moment.”

The premier responded that the flight was the “embodiment of peace.”

“We see the fruits of peace today as well. When we land in Israel we applaud. I also applaud your landing in Dubai thanks to our wonderful peace agreement, and there will be more. Great congratulations – may you continue over and over,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement from his office.

Riyadh did not grant permission for the plane to traverse Saudi airspace until Monday evening, raising concerns the flight would be cancelled.

“You can say that already for a week we haven’t slept at night until we knew we had received all the authorizations,” Gil Stav, vice president of sales and marketing for Israir, told Channel 13 news before the flight.

Read More: Times of Israel

Related Articles:

BBC slammed for downplaying anti-Semitic nature of Texas hostage crisis

The BBC's 10pm News report on the Texas synagogue hostage crisis has been heavily criticised for failing to mention anti-Semitism and asking more questions over the terrorist's death...

BDS founder makes outrageous claim that Jewish culture belongs to Arabs

The founder of BDS, Omar Barghouti, has made the outrageous claim that Jews don’t have their own culture but are instead part of Arab culture and have nothing to do with...

Israel’s Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system completes ‘breakthrough’ test

Israel conducted a successful test of its Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile system on Tuesday morning outside the Earth’s atmosphere, the Defense Ministry said. The trial tested a number of...

Abu Dhabi attack: Israel offers UAE ‘security and intelligence support’

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett condemns the Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi yesterday, in a letter he sent to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.“I strongly condemn the terrorist...

IDF widow feels no anger towards soldier who killed her husband in friendly fire incident

Or Elharar, the widow of Major Itamar Elharar, says she bears no anger towards the soldier who fired the shots which killed her husband in the deadly friendly fire incident...

We call upon the UK Government to officially recognise Jerusalem is Israel's capital and move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Subscribe to start receiving FREE TORCH magazines from CUFI UK