Update: Saudi Arabia announced that their airspace is now open to all flights!
Originally posted on 6/2:
The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Israel and Saudi Arabia have come to terms on a deal that will allow Israeli airlines to fly in Saudi Arabian airspace to anywhere in the world.
Currently, that’s only allowed for flights to Bahrain and the UAE.
In exchange, Israel will allow two islands in the Straits of Tiran to be transferred from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and the multinational force that is currently there to be stationed in Egypt.
No word if there’s also a player to be named later in this 3 way trade. 😉
President Biden is expected to announce the deal on a trip to the Middle East later this month.
Israeli media has gotten this wrong before and the Jerusalem Post does post fake news on occasion, but if this deal pans out it’s a game changer for El Al and other Israeli airlines. It will allow them to compete on routes that are not currently feasible or are too costly to operate due to airspace restrictions. It will also shave travel time off of travel to some existing destinations.
For example, this is how El Al currently has to fly in order to avoid Saudi airspace when flying to Bangkok, adding significant travel time:
El Al network planners, start your engines!
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26 Comments On "[Confirmed!] Saudi Arabia Will Reportedly Allow All Israeli Flights To Overfly Their Airspace"
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Why is Biden the one to announce this?
That’s what will make it a 4 way trade…
He gives respect and visits MBS, gets to announce this and help his poll numbers, maybe Saudi Arabia releases more oil and drops gas prices.
This will do nothing for his poll numbers. He has so many problems at home, SA can’t release enough oil to make the slightest difference.
I agree, don’t see how this will have any effect on domestic sentiment. This is a very niche, regional geopolitical issue that will have zero impact on any typical American. Any extra oil might help, but don’t see how prices will drop to what they were.
Oil supply isn’t the major problem with gas prices at the pump. The problem is refinery capacity, and it’s not just the plant and labor side of the refineries that is the issue. There are also the non-oil supplies that limit on-lining additional refinery capacity and the refiners being not so eager to see their good times of high prices coming to an end sooner than later.
Biden went to kiss the ring of the scummy Saudi crown prince/de facto king because he wants to try to maintain Saudi Arabia in the US sphere rather than shifting more into the welcoming arms of Russian and Chinese arm sellers and the Chinese oil buyers.
Why not? Are you pissed that Trump didn’t announce this?
Are you trying to ease up on the implication that Biden had anything to do with this?
Anyone know why Saudis Arabia wants those islands and why Israel would care?
Those islands were actually Saudi Arabian territory before they were handed to Egypt decades ago.
Israel pays attention to those islands because they sit at the base of the Gulf of Aqaba, in the Straits of Tiran. In both 1956 and ’67, Egypt closed the passageway between the islands to Israeli shipping, which would’ve significantly reduced Israel’s ability to transport goods over water to the east. In response, especially after the closure in 1967 (due to the ceasefire agreement that ended the Suez Crisis in 1956), the IDF launched a pre-emptive strike on Egypt as Egypt committed the Casus Belli. Part of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt ensures that the islands would not be used in this way again.
Now that Sisi is giving back the islands to Saudi Arabia, and because Saudi Arabia doesn’t currently recognize Israel, it is Israel’s prerogative to ensure the Saudis uphold that provision of the 1979 treaty.
They want those islands to be able to control more of the Red Sea traffic. The Carter-led Egyptian-Israeli treaty meant maritime traffic on those already Egyptian-held islands that were previously Hejazi/Saudi islands would not be used to blockade Israel and others.
The Egyptians were under more US influence than Saudi influence and that was good for Israel and the US; but now the cowboy Saudis are getting a leg up in the future with regard to Suez Canal traffic. Also, there are various indications that the Saudis are going to be moving forward their nuclear program following this meeting, and that is something that should be very concerning since the Saudis are worse than the Iranians in being a major driver of dirty geopolitical games where the nasty genies are a major problem to be put back in the bottle/lamp after the Saudis “help” to get those nasty genies activated.
Immediately after Biden’s Saudi royal gang meeting, he had a press speech where the first primary point he made was Saudi Arabia’s agreement to allow Israeli flights over Saudi Arabia. Is Biden the President/PM of Israel, is he the President of the US, or the President of both? Biden didn’t do any country’s people a long term favor with this free give-away meeting.
The Emiratis have since arrested an American lawyer who was a lawyer in the
Khashoggi murder matter. Biden is being played by the Emirati and Saudi royals and their well-funded influence machines.
If an LY flight on the way to Bangkok suffers and emergency, will SA currently (prior to any airspace deal) allow the plane to make an emergency landing at any of its airports?
Do they have a choice? Planes coming down.
An Indian airplane recently landed in Pakistan due to an emergency, so there is honor among enemies.
Plus, if the LY flight had issues in its current routing, it may still need to have an emergency landing in SA. Other options would be Egypt, Sudan or Yemen, so not sure there is much difference in the before and after.
Isn’t the more relevant question whether SA will allow a rescue flight?
There have been passenger flights between Pakistan and India for a large part of our lives. I knew one Indian cabinet minister who once had a conversation with PM Indira Gandhi about how the Indian government car was smuggling a Pakistani general into India at Delhi airport from a commercial passenger flight from Pakistan. It wasn’t a Pakistani general. It was an Indian doctor who had flown back to Delhi from Pakistan after using a Pakistani general’s car to get to the airport. Those Pakistani military officers had served alongside Indian military officers under British rule in the Iranian theater and the officers spouses were possibly friends. The stupid Indian intelligence agency lost track of who the passenger was on the plane coming back into India from Pakistan and falsely reported to the Indian PM that she had a cabinet minister hosting Pakistani generals in Delhi. The agent involved in that got promoted into a senior position by the Modi-ites who have a mental block and a distorted sense of history.
Iran has no formal diplomatic ties with the US and yet at least one US passenger flight has had to make an emergency landing in Iran. The Iranians were hospitable in keeping with cultural and religious traditions to help travelers in distress. The Saudis would likely do the same for the same and other reasons.
An emergency is an emergency.
“In exchange, Israel will allow two islands in the Straits of Tiran to be transferred from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and the multinational force that is currently there to be stationed in Egypt.”
I’m no geopolitical expert, so can someone explain to me why Israel had any say in the first place on a land agreement between Egypt and SA, why Egypt wants to give it up for presumably nothing in return, and why multinational forces were previously not allowed to be stationed in Egypt (when the island were under Egyptian control), but now are able to (when it’s in SA control)
See Harry’s excellent brief historical review above re your first question.
MFO has been stationed on those islands AND in the Sinai Peninsula since Israel withdrew following the Camp David Accords. If this story is accurate, those on the islands would apparently leave for Sinai.
And Biden will dream that this may improve his standing at home? I don’t think this will do much at all for him. He’s a lost case. So many problems back at home, he’s in way too deep.
For Biden the goal is to get oil from Saudi Arabia and him to have something to complement them for and forget how angry he was about kashogi
Dude already had only a 1% strong approval rating from the 18-30 year old demographic group that is the most critical of the US alliance with Israel. This won’t make a difference one way or the other with Biden’s support figured in the US. People across the board in the country are unhappy with what is going on in the country and even a 25% gas price drop from today won’t change that much.
How will it be a game changer to other Israeli airlines besides LY? Arkia only flies east to the UAE which is already allowed to overfly SA.
Does this affect the time of the flight from TLV to Ubu Dhabi?