SAUDI ARABIA - First Time Israeli Airliner Enters Airspace

Arno Froese

Flight IZ611’s move into Saudi Arabia was monumental. It was the first time that Saudi authorities let an Israeli airliner overfly their territory in order to reach a country other than the United Arab Emirates or Bahrain.

Until very recently, several countries in the Middle East were totally closed to any air traffic to and from Israel. The 2020 Abraham Accords changed most of this, though, by normalizing relations among Israel, the UAE and Bahrain. This move was subsequently followed by a handful of other countries in the Arab world.

Likewise, Morocco, a country where hundreds of thousands of Israelis have family roots, has also established diplomatic relations and air links with Israel. El Al, Israir, Arkia and Royal Air Maroc all offer flights from TLV to both Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) and Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK).

Sudan has opened its airspace to air traffic to and from Israel, too, enabling a potential new vector of growth for the Israeli air travel industry.

One of the most momentous airspace openings, which was widely expected to take place this summer, may still have to wait. It seems that Omani authorities haven’t yet decided on whether to allow overflights by Israeli airlines. A simple look at a map shows why the Israeli air travel industry is eagerly awaiting Oman’s decision.

Without Saudi and Omani overflights, a flight between TLV and, for example, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) would typically require flying southward over the Gulf of Aqaba, then over the Red Sea and around the Arabian Peninsula before crossing the Indian Ocean along a rather southerly route.

A routing through Oman would save El Al and other Israeli airlines about 2 1/2 hours of flight time and tons of fuel. Additionally, it would make it possible to deploy narrow-body aircraft on some routes, such as those to Indian destinations, providing an additional degree of operational flexibility to airline planners., 10 September 2022

Arno's Commentary

What was unthinkable just a decade ago, is now becoming a reality: Arab countries are opening their airspace to Israeli planes. Needless to say, this is a beneficial development for all countries involved. Businesses will be established, knowledge exchanged, and importing/exporting will increase.

The Arab League, founded in Egypt in March of 1945, is made up of 22 countries. The total population of the Arab world is listed as 436 million people, covering an area of 13,132,327 square kilometers—significantly larger than the USA.

For Israel, this is another opportunity to expand its economy, knowledge, and wealth.

Biblically speaking, we go back to Abraham’s son, Ishmael, where we read: “And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation” (Genesis 17:20). However, we must emphasize that the covenant nation was established through Abraham’s son, Isaac: “But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year” (Genesis 17:21). 

What about the future: will there be peace? We have reason to believe so, because peace guarantees prosperity and security. That is a requirement in the order of prophecy. Not only the Arab League and Israel, but also the rest of the world will and must come to a level of peaceful coexistence. Only by such a global system can the whole world be totally deceived by Antichrist.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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