Saturday, October 22, 2022

Oman Plays Spoilsport In The Israeli Arkia Airlines' Direct India Dreams

Dubai: Call it pressure from Iran or its synonym, Oman has reportedly refused to open its airspace to Israeli commercial flights , despite other Gulf states having opened theirs amid warming relations with Tel Aviv.

The Israeli airline Arkia has been forced to cancel its flights to India and other Asian countries and give customers refunds due to the continued refusal by Oman to allow the Israeli commercial aircraft fly over its territory.

According to a report by the newspaper Israel Hayom on Thursday, Oman decided to keep its airspace closed to Israeli flights, a week after the chief executive of Israel's carrier El Al – Dina Ben-Tal – said that Tel Aviv would receive official permission from Muscat to use its airspace.

That move was expected to be made after Saudi Arabia allowed the Israeli national carrier to fly over its airspace, in order to enable flights to pass directly over the Gulf region en route to destinations such as India and Thailand. "It's not just Saudi Arabia. We need the full route to be approved," Ben-Tal said at the time.

Israeli planes heading to Asian destinations currently have to fly a circuitous route around the Gulf region and over the Red Sea.

Pending any official release on the matter , Muscat's stand on airspace closure to Israeli flights would be the main obstacle preventing Tel Aviv's plans to utilise its planned flight corridor over the Gulf to save time and fuel.

22/10/22 FL360aero

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