Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation announced early Friday morning that it had decided to allow “all air carriers that meet the requirements of the authority” to fly in the Kingdom’s airspace, a decision that will allow Israeli airlines to fly over the entire country.
“Within the framework of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s keenness to fulfill its obligations under the Chicago Convention of 1944, which stipulates non-discrimination between civil aircrafts used in international air navigation, and to complement the efforts aimed at consolidating the Kingdom’s position as a global hub connecting three continents and to enhance international air connectivity, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announces the decision to open the Kingdom’s airspace for all air carriers that meet the requirements of the Authority for overflying,” read the Kingdom’s announcement.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid:
"After a long road of intense and covert diplomacy with Saudi Arabia and the United States, today we have good news. The Saudi aviation authorities have announced that they will be opening Saudi airspace to Israeli airlines.
— Prime Minister of Israel (@IsraeliPM) July 15, 2022
The decision, which does not mention Israel by name, comes amid US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel and less than 24 hours before the president is set to take off from Ben-Gurion Airport to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Here it is: Video of Pres. Biden just landing in #Saudi Arabia, coming from Israel. First US President to do so as Kingdom agreed to open airspace to all carriers inc Israel pic.twitter.com/ALupeLTSPk
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) July 15, 2022
“After a long road of intense and covert diplomacy with Saudi Arabia and the United States, today we have good news. The Saudi aviation authorities have announced that they will be opening Saudi airspace to Israeli airlines,” said Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
He further thanked “the Saudi leadership for the opening of Saudi airspace. This is only the first step. We will continue working with [the] necessary caution, for the sake of Israel’s economy, security and the good of our citizens.”