Jordan and Israel Sign Deal for Reciprocal Overflights

The agreement is expected to significantly shorten flight times to the Gulf, Asia, Europe and North America – with credit given to the UAE normalization deal for breaking years of negotiation deadlock

Hadar Kane
Hadar Kane
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The words 'peace' in Arabic, English and Hebrew painted on the first civilian aircraft to fly direct between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, August 31, 2020.
The words 'peace' in Arabic, English and Hebrew painted on the first civilian aircraft to fly direct between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, August 31, 2020.Credit: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO
Hadar Kane
Hadar Kane

Israel and Jordan signed an agreement on Thursday to allow mutual overflights, allowing airlines to fly direct over both countries, saving on time and fuel costs.

Before the coronavirus crisis grounded all planes, there were already regular air links between Amman and Tel Aviv, but this deal, which comes after years of negotiations, will allow planes to cross the countries’ airspace on their way to a third destination.

Israel’s Transportation Ministry said they anticipate a significant cut in flight times between Israel, Jordan and Asian destinations including Gulf countries, the Far East as well as Europe and North America.

“The agreement will lead to a significant savings in fuel, and lower polluting emissions and help the environment,” the ministry said.

The deal, which was signed by civil aviation authorities in both countries, was facilitated recently by Israel’s normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates as well as Saudi Arabia’s consent to Israeli civilian aircrafts using its airspace. It was also facilitated by cooperation with EUROCONTROL, the European flight controllers and the relevant organizations in Israel.

A ministry official said “the opening of Israeli and Jordanian air space to respective flights can serve as an economic bridge of peace for the region. In the near future flights from the UAE and Bahrain and elsewhere may fly in both directions over Israel to destinations in Europe and North America.”

Transportation Minister Miri Regev said: “Again we are expanding our horizons, this time in the air. Thanks to the agreement, Israel will integrate even better into the region. We are opening up new ways for cooperation in transport and other economic and political realms with the countries at our borders with whom we also share interests and a vision of regional peace. I hope we shall soon be able to announce additional developments as well.”

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