From Tbilisi to Mumbai in 5 hours: Saudi Arabia has approved Israeli airlines to fly over its territory

From Tbilisi to Mumbai in 5 hours: Saudi Arabia has approved Israeli airlines to fly over its territory

Saudi Arabia officially informed the Israeli airlines El Al, Israir and Arkia this evening (Wednesday) that they can fly in the country’s airspace. Also, foreign companies flying to Israel will be able to fly in Saudi airspace.

Let’s recall that about two and a half weeks ago, during Biden’s visit to Israel and before his departure to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia announced that it would allow all airlines “that meet the conditions” to pass through its airspace, when the Israeli airlines are meant.

Until today, Israeli airlines could not fly over the Arabian Peninsula, so they had to make a detour that lengthens the flight and increases its price significantly. The opening of Saudi Arabia’s skies to Israeli flights will primarily make it easier for those flying to the East. For example, the flight path to Mumbai is expected to be shortened to about 4,000 km instead of about 5,800 km, which will shorten the flight time by more than two hours (from almost 8 hours to 5 and a quarter hours) and lower the price of the ticket. Flights to other destinations in India and to countries such as Thailand, Singapore and Australia are also expected to be shortened, and the price will be reduced accordingly.

The Israeli airline that operates most of the routes to the East is El Al, and it is expected to be the main beneficiary. However, it is possible that the decision will lead to further competition on the Eastern routes, and will also encourage additional tourism to Israel from these countries.

This decision is added to the aviation agreement signed with Turkey last month and will allow Israeli flights to the country. This agreement is a significant achievement for the Israeli aviation industry, since last year Turkey was the most popular destination for the Israeli tourist.


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