Israel opening airspace for Qatar flights during World Cup
The agreement will allow for shorter and more direct routes between Europe, US and Gulf state
Israel is opening its skies to international flights heading to and from Qatar for the World Cup being held in the Gulf state this November and December.
The agreement will allow for shorter and more direct routes between European and American destinations and Doha.
"The State of Israel shows a sporty spirit and allows its air borders to be opened for the benefit of flights and pilots," Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli said.
The Israel Airports Authority, Israeli Air Force and Israel's Civil Aviation Authority were involved in the agreement on the Israeli side, with the participation of the Jordanian aviation authorities and Eurocontrol.
With a massive increase in flights expected in and out of Qatar for the global soccer tournament, airlines will be able to cross into Israeli airspace from Cypriot airspace before entering Jordanian airspace and vice versa.
"For us, this is a special operation in the air control system, but it is one of the most important sporting events in the world. It is a great privilege to be part of such a global operation," said Udi Bar-Oz, deputy director general for operations at the Israel Airports Authority.
"The leading teams in the world will pass over Israel excited and looking forward on the way to Qatar and happy or disappointed back to their country and we will serve as an air bridge for them."