Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 September 2020

Saudi Arabia approves UAE flights to and from 'all countries' to cross its airspace

Aviation authority's statement follows first flight between the UAE and Israel on Monday

A US-Israeli delegation led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner arrived in the UAE on Monday aboard the first commercial flight between Israel and the UAE. Victor Besa for The National
A US-Israeli delegation led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner arrived in the UAE on Monday aboard the first commercial flight between Israel and the UAE. Victor Besa for The National

Saudi Arabia's General Civil Aviation Authority said that following a request it is allowing all UAE flights to and from "all countries" to cross its airspace, state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.

The statement comes after senior US and Israeli officials landed in the UAE on Monday on a historic first flight between Israel and the Gulf state. The El Al aircraft flew over Saudi Arabia on its way from Israel, according to flight tracker websites.

The "authority's approval was issued on the request received from the General Authority of Civil Aviation in the United Arab Emirates, which includes the desire to allow the passage of the kingdom's airspace for flights coming to the United Arab Emirates and departing from it to all countries," SPA reported.

A statement on Wam on Wednesday said UAE aviation authorities had "confirmed ... that it had obtained approval from its counterpart in Saudi Arabia, to allow the passage of the Kingdom's airspace for outbound and inbound flights to and from the UAE to all countries of the world".

Earlier this week, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner flew with a high-level Israeli delegation to the UAE on the first direct commercial passenger flight between the two countries.

The visit follows the announcement of the Abraham Accord on August 13, which paves the way for normalising relations between Israel and the UAE on the condition that Israel suspend its annexation of parts of the West Bank.

Mr Kushner described the visit as a "historic breakthrough" and a "big turn for optimism" in the Middle East, in an interview with The National.

Updated: September 2, 2020 05:52 PM

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