Israel signs deal with Jordan to open airspace: transport ministry


Tel Aviv (Reuters) – Israel has signed an aviation agreement with Jordan that will allow flights from the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to fly through Israeli airspace, it said on Thursday.

The deal had been discussed for years, but the neighbors were only able to finalize it after Israel and the two Gulf Arab states signed a historic agreement last month to normalize ties, Israel’s Transportation Ministry said.

Jordanian officials had no immediate comment.

With commercial planes now able to fly through the Israel-Jordan corridor, flight times for some routes between Asia and Europe and North America, including flights from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, will be shorter, the Israeli ministry said.

Its statement did not specify any other countries that could benefit from the new arrangement.

“The agreement will significantly cut flight times to Gulf countries, Asia and the Far East, leading to fuel savings and less pollution,” it said.

European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol, based in Brussels, helped make the aviation deal happen, the ministry said.

Boosting civil aviation was an important part of last month’s historic diplomatic accords signed in Washington at a ceremony hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump.

In those agreements, Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates agreed it was critical to ensure regular and direct flights to promote relations.

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