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In historic first, Israeli commercial flight passes through Omani airspace

Illustrative - An El Al flight takes off at the Ben Gurion International Airport, outside of Tel Aviv, Oct. 25, 2021. (Photo: Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Last week, the Sultanate of Oman announced that “all carriers” – including Israeli airlines – would be permitted to fly commercial aircraft through its airspace, marking the first such allowance in Omani history.

The Omani government's announcement was made in cooperation with the Saudi government, opening a new flight corridor over their airspace for Israeli airlines to utilize.

On Sunday, the first Israeli commercial flight over Oman took place. The flight – from Tel Aviv, Israel to Bangkok, Thailand – was shortened by two and half hours because of the new flight corridor.

Oman's decision to permit Israel to fly its airspace may be another step towards normalizing Israel-Oman relations, however other recent decisions indicate that full relations are unlikely to materialize anytime soon.

As recently as January, Oman’s Consultative Assembly, expanded the criminalization of relations with Israel, with its deputy chairperson, Yaqoub Al-Harthi, stating: “The brothers, Your Excellencies, looked at the development taking place – whether it was technical, cultural, economic or sports – and proposed additional amendments that include severing any economic, sports or cultural relations and prohibiting dealing in any way or means, whether it was a real meeting, an electronic meeting or something else.”

While Israel has recently signed historic normalization agreements with the governments of Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates, it has no such agreement with Saudi Arabia or Oman.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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