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Saudi-Israel Overflight Deal in Sight as Biden Heads to Mideast

  • Agreement could open up Saudi airspace for more Asia flights
  • Israel and Saudi Arabia have yet to establish diplomatic ties
El Al aircraft at Ben Gurion International airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel. 

El Al aircraft at Ben Gurion International airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel. 

Photographer: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

A deal to open up Saudi airspace to all flights operating into and out of Tel Aviv is being discussed ahead of US President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Dubai’s Emirates Airline, Bahrain’s Gulf Air and Israeli airlines including flag carrier El Al are currently permitted to use Saudi airspace for Dubai-Tel Aviv and Manama-Tel Aviv routes, but Israel is restricted from using Saudi airspace for any other commercial flights.