On Thursday, The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced that the country’s airspace is open to all airlines including Israel. This, the body said, is in line with international conventions that there should be no discrimination between civil aircraft.
The announcement will eave overflight to and from from Saudi Arabia and Israel, a signal that relations between both countries are getting better. According to GACA, the move will ““complement the efforts aimed at consolidating the kingdom’s position as a global hub connecting three continents and to enhance international air connectivity”.
US President, Joe Biden, who is on a regional tour in the middle East also welcomed the development. Jack Sullivan, the White House National Security Adviser said in a statement, “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,”
Recall that on Thursday, it was said that Saudi Arabia would grant Israeli airlines unhindered overflight access and allow direct flights from Israel to Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrims.
The statement released by GACA did not mention Israel by name, perhaps, because Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel as a State. Both countries do not have diplomatic relations. However, both countries have been working together behind the scenes with the United States as a mediator.
Biden will be the first President to fly directly from Israel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.