[El Al Route Changes, Thailand Flights Have Returned To Taking Longer Route, & More] Game Changer: Oman Agrees To Open Its Airspace To Israeli Airlines!

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Update 10/30: Due to the war in Israel, El Al service to Dublin, Marseille, and Tokyo is suspended as of tomorrow, with plans to resume in March.

Service start to India is suspended indefinitely.

Other routes will retain service but will see decreased flights, with changes to be announced.

El Al has also sent messages like this to passengers flying to Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand:

“Dear Passenger,
In response to the current situation in Israel and following consultations with security officials and the Israel Airport Authority,
changes have been made to our flight schedule. Your flight LY088 from Phuket on 31.10 will depart at 18:10 and will arrive on 01.11 at 00:30.
The flight duration will now be 11.30 hours.
We hope for your understanding and for better days.
At your service,
EL AL Israel Airlines”

That’s due to El Al now avoiding flying over Oman on the way to Thailand:


The previous route, that has been in use since March, crossed Omani airspace and flew over the Gulf of Oman, which was notably close to Iran’s airspace:


Regional map for context:


Flights to Dubai are still operating as normal:

Update 3/23: Thanks to this agreement, El Al will fly 4 weekly flights to Mumbai (5.5 hour flight time) and 2 weekly flights to Delhi (6.5 hour flight time) starting in October. Tickets go on sale next month and flights will be 2-3 hours shorter than when they previously operated.

HT: tavster

Update 3/15: Thanks to this agreement, El Al will fly 3 weekly flights to Melbourne starting in June 2024.

Update 2/26: El Al flight 83 took just 7 hours and 49 minutes, a whopping 3 hours less than yesterday’s Tel Aviv-Bangkok flight!


Update, 2/26: El Al flight 83 from Tel Aviv to Bangkok departing at 8:15pm IST tonight will be the first commercial Israeli flight to fly over Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the Strait of Hormuz!

Flight 81 from Tel Aviv to Bangkok yesterday took 10 hours and 44 minutes, but flight 83 is expected to take less than 8 hours!


Originally posted on 2/23:

Israel-Arab geopolitical relations have come a long way since the Abraham Accords were announced in August 2020.

Previously it would have been unthinkable to have El Al have a full partnership with Abu Dhabi based Etihad or for there to be a kosher restaurant in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

I was just a curiosity for locals when I visited the UAE in 2017, while there are now 16 flights a day between Israel and the UAE. There are also now nonstop flights from Israel to places like Bahrain and Morocco.

One big missing piece remained, the ability for Israeli airlines to fly over Arab countries.

Saudi Arabia previously only allowed them to do that for flights to the UAE, but in July agreed to allow them to do that for all flights.

However, Oman remained a holdout, refusing to allow Israel to overfly them, and therefore blocking Israeli airlines from taking a shortcut over the Middle East.

But as of today, Oman has agreed to open their airspace to all carriers.



It’s hard to overstate how critical this is to Israeli air connectivity.

For example, this is how El Al currently has to fly in order to avoid Omani airspace when flying to Bangkok, adding significant travel time:


That flight will now looking something more like this, though without the stop in Muscat, Oman:


This agreement will thus shave several hours off flights from Israel to the east.

El Al will be able to fly on routes to India on narrowbody 737s that currently eat up valuable widebody flight time. While it’s always nice to fly on a widebody plane like El Al’s 787 Dreamliner, if you can turn an 8 hour flight into 5 hour flight, switching to a 737 is a no-brainer. That frees up a widebody airframe to operate a new route that El Al hopes to launch, such as Melbourne or Tokyo.

Thanks to the agreement with Saudi Arabia, a flight to Melbourne goes from an 18 hour ultra-long haul that pushes the 787 to its limits into a 15 hour flight that the plane is more than capable of handling.

El Al won’t be the only airline to benefit from the new airspace.

Israeli low-cost carrier Arkia is looking into flying to destinations like Sri Lanka and Thailand that weren’t previously tenable with its narrowbody fleet. The airline will fly to Goa, India starting in November, a route that will be hours shorter thanks to the new overfly rights. I still think it’s a pity that their widebody A330-900neo order never materialized, though I’m happy I got the chance to be taken to Airbus Headquarters when that order was still on the books.

Hopefully the shorter travel time will also translate into lower airfare as well.

I’d expect the first Omani overflight to happen in the next week or so.

The network planners at Arkia, El Al, and Israir must be having a field day with all the possibilities!

Hopefully this also leads towards full diplomatic relations between Oman and Israel.

What new routes do you hope to see operate to Tel Aviv?

HT: tavster.

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69 Comments On "[El Al Route Changes, Thailand Flights Have Returned To Taking Longer Route, & More] Game Changer: Oman Agrees To Open Its Airspace To Israeli Airlines!"

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Tel Aviv to Melbourne!! We’ve been waiting for this!!

Harley Kesselman

Oh man!


party hardy


This is awesome wow. Does shorter flight times=smaller planes=less gas=cheaper flights?


Is it just a coincidence this is happening a week before El Al launches its Tokyo route?


Bibi Melech Yisroel chai chai v’kayam….


Do you want a melech that’s a mechalel Shabbos?

Geulah times!

Do we get a choice who the Melech is? God already selected him. Anyway, Halacha will change radically after the Geulah. No more stringencies.


Trump melech America chai v’kayom…

Trump HaMelech Gadol

^^ YES!!!

Shmuely B

You’ve got that right


So bottom line how long with the flight be to bangkok and Hong kong with this shorter route?


will it affect flights from ny




Australians all let us rejoice

Reb yid

Based on the map above, it looks like it barely enters Omani airspace anyway. Couldn’t it have just skirted it and flown over the UAE?


SQ potentially launching direct flights?


Unrelated to this directly, would love to see a PHL-TLV flight


That’s not going to happen…plenty of better routings available. Heck – they’re adding a 2nd Miami/FLL flight before thinking about PHL


Does this make TLV a potential major hub in the Europe to Asia (not sure if that would be a good or bad thing).


Major hubs don’t just happen, there is usually a force behind it such as a home airline. It takes lots of planning and the ability to cope for misconnecting passengers. It adds loads of costs and sometimes lower yield per mile. Not all revenue leads to profits.


Let’s hope not they can’t deal with current load of passengers


It’s now time for the next unthinkable
Iran airspace to Israeli carriers!


Unfortunately that airspace may be open soon to the IAF…



Geulah times!

Unfortunately? With Yetziyat America imminent, we’ll all know the truth. Amalek isn’t just Iran. Trump is really an Ohev Yehudim.


So they basically gained nothing from being allowed to fly over Saudi Arabia from July till now




That was already allowed from before then.

Heimishe Bochur

Will this shorten the flight TLV-HKG as well?


Is this just for Israeli airlines? Does that mean that other airlines were already allowed to fly over Oman? Why was there no nonstop flight from Melbourne to TLV from Qantas?


“What new routes do you hope to see operate to Tel Aviv?”
Toronto… we sure miss the ElAl option. Can’t always get a flight when you want, AC is often so booked up. And of course only Dan lounge for flying AC. Besides only one kind of kosher meal on AC, not the few options on ElAl. Announcements in 4! languages on AC.


Flight time for tonight scheduled on 7h37..
I did this 2 months ago in over 10h30..


I never fully followed this. Why couldn’t LY fly over the UAE and into the Gulf of Oman (having never gone in Oman airspace)?

Is the entire Gulf of Oman Omani airspace?

Phil DDF

What would happen if there was need to make an emergency landing while in enemy space, however?


It doesn’t fly through enemy airspace

Phil ddf

Saudi Arabia and Oman are still technically Israel’s enemies. No diplomatic relations exist between them. While Israeli civilian airlines can now finally fly through their airspace in accordance with international law, what would happen if they had to land?


They don’t have official diplomatic relations but that doesn’t make them enemies. Nothing would happen if an LY airplane would land in either countries, otherwise LY wouldn’t fly over them


Wow great accomplishment! Finally we can go to Melbourne from tlv
Thank you hashem for
All the great things

ben fishman


Its says that it landed 2hrs and 17min early!

Me and you

I’m not getting it
Check the above route, it didn’t even fly over Oman it flew over UAE and that’s not new
Can anyone explain?

Shmuely B

This is great news.


I heard that it was announced today that elal will start flights 3 times a week to Melbourne
Starting in June 2024

Great news


Is ElAl due for some new airplanes with all of these routes being announced?


Oman removed flyover rights


Is it that they don’t want to lose the flyover rights so it’s better not to use it now when there might be pressure on Oman to revoke it and then once the war ends thet can go back to using it


@Dan, no post on the Progrom at the airport in Dagestan?


@Dan — Looks like El Al is flying over Oman again: https://www.flightaware.com/live/flight/ELY88/history/20240312/0910Z/VTSP/LLBG


Weird. When I was watching the flight it looked like the improved flight over Oman and said it was arriving 2 hours early. Now after the flight has finished I see it took the long way again. Oh well, maybe soon.