In First, Commercial Flight To Israel Flies Over Saudi Airspace

A giant banner showing Saudi King Salman, right, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is displayed prior to a visit by U. S. President Joe Biden, in a square in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, July 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

A commercial flight to Israel flew over Saudi Arabia on Thursday for the first time since Riyadh announced it was opening its skies to all air carriers immediately prior to US President Joe Biden’s arrival in the kingdom – the first US leader to fly directly from Israel to Saudi Arabia.

The flight, operated by Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s flag carrier, flew from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv.

According to a flight-tracking service, the plane flew over the United Arab Emirates and the Persian Gulf and then crossed the Saudi coast and over northern Saudi Arabia and Jordan, entering Israel north of the Dead Sea.

Israeli airlines have not yet been granted permission to begin using Saudi airspace. However, El Al expects to receive official approval within a week.

Although the kingdom’s announcement was hailed by Biden as “the first tangible step on the path of what I hope will eventually be a broader normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia,” Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Farhan bin Faisal quickly denied the US president’s statement.

In a press briefing on Saturday following Biden’s visit, Prince Faisal said that the overflights “have nothing to do with diplomatic ties with Israel,” adding that the kingdom is allowing Israeli overflights to connect countries in the world and make travelers’ lives easier. “But it’s not in any way a precursor to any further steps,” he stressed.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. YWN Editors should learn to write English.
    Headline: “In First, Commercial Flight To Israel Flies Over Saudi Airspace”

    Does this mean the passengers in Coach didn’t fly over Saudi Airspace?

    Should read: A First, Commercial Flight to Israel Flies over Saudi Airspace

  2. CTLawyer, please realize that you perception might be different from the other readers. Most of us do not immediately think about first class when ordering airplane tickets. Enjoy.

  3. The perception is not the issue. Improper use of words and grammar is not something to aspire for, regardless of it being the lingua franca on certain websites.