Saudi Arabia announced that it would open its airspace to all air carriers, allowing for more overflights to and from Israel.

US President Joe Biden, who is scheduled to visit the kingdom today, applauded the decision.

According to the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), all airlines that fulfill the country’s overflight requirements are now allowed to use the country’s airspace, in accordance with international agreements that forbid discrimination between civil aircraft.


As per a statement from GACA, the choice will complement the efforts aimed at consolidating the kingdom’s position as a global hub connecting three continents and to enhance international air connectivity. Some flights to and from Israel had longer flight times and used more fuel as a result of flying over Saudi Arabia.

US President Joe Biden praised the choice, according to Jake Sullivan, the White House’s national security adviser. The security and prosperity of the United States and the American people, as well as the security and prosperity of Israel, are dependent on a more integrated, stable, and secure Middle East region, according to Sullivan.

A source had earlier told Reuters that Saudi Arabia would soon allow Israeli airlines unrestricted overflight access and permit direct charter flights from Israel for Muslims taking part in the yearly hajj pilgrimage in Makkah.

Saudi Arabia rejects Israel’s legitimacy and has made no mention of potential bilateral developments during Biden’s visit. Israel has likewise avoided making these connections.

KSA had agreed in 2020 to permit flights between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to pass through its territory, despite the lack of official relations.