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Saudi Arabia to Open Airspace to All International Airlines

The Saudi Arabian government announced it would open its airspace to all airlines that meet its requirements for overflights.

According to, The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said all international carriers would be permitted to fly through its airspace, as long as they meet “conventions that say there should be no discrimination between civil aircraft.”


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The decision would allow more flights to and from Israel, a move applauded by United States President Joe Biden, who said the decision would build a “more integrated and stable Middle East region.”

GACA officials said the decision would “complement the efforts aimed at consolidating the kingdom’s position as a global hub connecting three continents and to enhance international air connectivity.”

On Thursday, officials in the U.S. told Reuters that government officials in Saudi Arabia would announce new permissions for Israeli airlines to operate direct charter flights from Israel for Muslims participating in the annual hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.

“Today, I will be the first president of the United States to fly from Israel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,” Biden said in a statement. “As we mark this important moment, Saudi Arabia’s decision can help build momentum toward Israel’s further integration into the region, including with Saudi Arabia.”

Earlier this year, the King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, became the first in the world to begin providing flight information and notifications in sign language.

In May, health officials in Israel announced they would no longer require international travelers arriving at the country’s main airport to take a PCR coronavirus test upon arrival.

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