Saudi Arabia Closes its Airspace to Israeli Flight
2021-05-26 - 6:15 am
Bahrain Mirror: On Tuesday, an Israeli airline canceled a scheduled flight to Dubai after the Saudi authorities refused to allow it to pass over the kingdom, according to Hebrew media.
The Israeli Army Radio said that "after 10 hours of delay, the flight that was supposed to take off from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to Dubai was canceled, and the passengers returned to their homes."
The flight belongs to "Israir", the third largest airline in Israel, after "El Al" and "Arkia".
According to the same source, all "Israir" passengers in Dubai who were supposed to travel to Israel on the same plane will be transferred to hotels, pending the solution of the problem.
For his part, the Hebrew economic website Globus said that canceling the take-off of the plane from Ben Gurion Airport came against the background of "the refusal of the aviation authorities in Saudi Arabia to grant the company a permit to pass through the Kingdom's airspace."
Israir, like other Israeli airlines, requests a routine permit to fly over Saudi Arabia's skies.
It is not known precisely the reason behind Riyadh's refusal to grant a permit to the Israeli company despite granting it on Tuesday noon a permit for the Al-Al plane to pass over its airspace, according to the same source.
Late last year, Riyadh allowed Israeli airlines and other companies to fly planes to and from Tel Aviv to cross its airspace, in an unprecedented measure.
And last December, Israir began operating two flights daily from Tel Aviv to the UAE.
"Arkia" company followed suit one day later, while "Al" joined them with 14 weekly flights.
In mid-September, Israel and the UAE signed an agreement to normalize relations under American auspices.
Later, the two countries signed several cooperation agreements, including an agreement on mutual exemption of entry visas.