Saudi Arabia refused to pass its airspace … canceling a flight from Israel to Dubai


Zain Khalil / Anatolia

An Israeli airline canceled, on Tuesday, a scheduled flight to Dubai, after the Saudi authorities refused to allow it to pass over the kingdom’s airspace, according to Hebrew media.

The Israeli Army Radio said, “After 10 hours of delay, the flight that was supposed to take off from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv (central) to Dubai was canceled, and the passengers returned to their homes.”

The flight belongs to “Israir” company, the third largest airline in Israel after “El” and “Arkia”.

According to the same source, all the “Israir” passengers in Dubai who were supposed to take off to Israel will be transferred on the same plane to hotels, pending a solution to the problem.

For his part, the Hebrew economic website Globus said that the cancellation of 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, is requesting a routine permit to fly over Saudi Arabia.

It is not known precisely why Riyadh refused 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.

Last December, Israir started operating two flights a day from Tel Aviv to the UAE, followed by the Arkia company one day later, while Al Al joined them with 14 weekly flights.

In mid-September, Israel and the UAE signed an agreement to normalize relations under American auspices, and then the two countries later signed several cooperation agreements, including an agreement on mutual exemption of entry visas.
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