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First direct flight between Israel, UAE takes off, to cross through Saudi airspace

The Israeli Airline Pilots Association released a tentative map of LY971's route on Sunday evening, showing the plane slated to cross through Saudi airspace.

By: PTI | Tel Aviv | Updated: August 31, 2020 3:40:02 pm
Israel use flight, first Israel uae flight, Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi flight, world news, Indian ExpressSenior US Presidential Adviser Jared Kushner speaks next to US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien ahead of boarding the El Al's flight LY971, which carried an Israeli-American delegation from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi at Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel, on Monday. (Photo: Pool via REUTERS)

The first “historic” commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi carrying officials from Israel and the US, including President Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, to discuss the recently agreed normalisation of Israel-UAE ties under American mediation took off from the Ben-Gurion airport on Monday morning.

The development is being also seen as a major breakthrough because the Israeli national carrier, El Al, is likely to fly over the Saudi airspace which is being interpreted by analysts as acceptance of Israel by the Gulf countries in general, and a probable normalisation of ties with some of the other “friendly countries” in that region.

The Israeli Airline Pilots Association released a tentative map of LY971’s route on Sunday evening, showing the plane slated to cross through Saudi airspace.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported that Saudi Arabia had authorised the use of its airspace after receiving a request from Washington and only agreed to do so because a high-level American delegation will be onboard.

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