Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday welcomed the authorisation for Israeli carriers to fly over Oman as a “great day” for the aviation industry as it will connect the country directly with India and also help establish Israel as the main transit point between Asia and Europe.
"The Far East is not so far away and the skies are no longer the limit”, Netanyahu said in a statement after receiving the Omani authorisation.
“This is a day of great news for Israeli aviation. Israel has, in effect, become the main transit point between Asia and Europe”, the Israeli prime minister added.
Israel received authorisation from Saudi Arabia and the Israeli leader said that he worked since his 2018 visit to Oman on getting permission for Israeli carriers to fly over its airspace so that they could go directly to India and onwards to Australia.
Oman and Israel do not have diplomatic ties.
“This was achieved today, after considerable effort, including in recent months. Here is good news – Israel is opening up to the east on an unprecedented scale”, Netanyahu stressed.
Until now, Israeli airlines' flights to East Asia, India and Thailand were forced to fly south to avoid the Arabian Peninsula – a route that added two and a half hours and wasted expensive fuel, local media reported.
With the Omani announcement, Israeli flights can shave off two to four hours to popular destinations like India and Thailand.
The development could potentially reduce ticket prices as well, given that airlines would save money on fuel.
Air India has been flying from Tel Aviv to Delhi directly using Saudi and Omani airspace, which saves time and makes the flights much more cost-efficient.
Last year Saudi Arabia allowed Israeli airlines to use its airspace but because Omani airspace was closed, Israeli carriers could not use the route to fly to Asia. The Saudi Arabian decision came after United States President Joe Biden visited the region last year.
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