Saudi Arabia will open the airspace to all airlines, including those in Israel!

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Saudi Arabia has said it will open its airspace to all air carriers, paving the way for more flights to and from Israel. The decision was welcomed by US President Joe Biden, who is due to pay a visit to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Civil Aviation Authority (GACA) has said that the country's airspace is now open to all carriers that meet its overflight requirements, in accordance with international conventions which say there should be no discrimination between civil aircraft.

The decision will "complement efforts to strengthen Saudi Arabia's position as a global hub connecting three continents and increase international air connectivity," GACA said in a statement.

Bypassing airspace in Saudi Arabia has increased flight time and increased fuel consumption for some services to and from Israel.

US President Joe Biden welcomed the decision and said it was an important step towards building a more integrated and stable region in the Middle East.

"Today, I will be the first president of the United States to fly from Israel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. As we mark this important moment, Saudi Arabia's decision can help create an impetus for Israel's further integration into the region, including with Saudi Arabia."Biden said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia will soon give Israeli airlines full access to overflight and will allow direct charter flights from Israel for Muslims participating in the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, does not recognize Israel and has not said anything about possible bilateral developments during Biden's visit. Despite the lack of official links, Saudi Arabia agreed in 2020 to allow flights between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to cross its territory.

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