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Jordan sign deal to open its airspace to Israel 

Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev on 22 April 2014 [Murad Samara/Facebook]
Israeli Transportation Minister Miri Regev on 22 April 2014 [Murad Samara/Facebook]

Jordan and Israel have agreed to operate commercial flights through the airspace of the two countries, Israel’s Transportation Ministry announced yesterday.

Following years of negotiations, the deal signed between civil aviation authorities will “significantly shorten flight times” from the Gulf states and Asia to destinations in Europe and North America, including flights from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said the ministry.

“It is expected that the agreement will lead to a reduction in travel prices and fuel savings,” it added.

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

Transportation Minister Miri Regev said: “We are once again breaking new boundaries, and this time it is in the air.”

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“We are opening new routes for cooperation in transportation, economics and diplomacy with the states sharing borders and shared interests with us, and a partnership in the vision for regional peace.”

Under the accord, flights will be permitted to travel over each country on weeknights between 11pm and 6am, Ynet news website reported. On weekends, the opening will be extended to 12 hours, with a 24-hour window available during 12 holidays per year.

The deal also comes after Saudi Arabia granted Abu Dhabi permission to allow airlines “coming from and departing to all countries” and bound for or leaving one of the UAE’s airports, to fly over Saudi Arabia, including those departing from Israel which the kingdom has no official ties with.

Israel and Jordan already had diplomatic ties following a peace deal reached in 1994.

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