Israeli plane uses Sudan airspace for first time

Aircraft flew from Kinshasa to Tel Aviv over Sudan after Netanyahu met with Sudanese leader earlier this month; other planes have used route but were never registered as Israeli

Itay Blumenthal|
An Israeli plane made history this weekend by becoming the country's first-ever aircraft to fly through Sudanese airspace, as it traveled to Tel Aviv from Kinshasa.
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  • The plane took off from Israel early last week for the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo and made its return to Ben-Gurion Airport in the skies over Sudan.
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    מסלול טיסה
    מסלול טיסה
    The flight path for the Israeli plane that flew over Sudan
    The flight comes after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Sudanese interim leader Abd al-Fattah al-Burhan in Uganda earlier this month. Burhan said his country would now allow Israeli planes – with the exception of flag carrier El Al - to use its airspace.
    The plane does not have an Israeli license number but is hangared at Ben-Gurion Airport.
    In the past, there have been several cases of planes flying either to or from Israel using Sudanese airspace, but they all had to stop over at Amman or another destination so that the flight would not be registered as Israeli.
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    יו"ר מועצת הריבונות של סודן, עבד אל-פתאח אל-בורהאן
    יו"ר מועצת הריבונות של סודן, עבד אל-פתאח אל-בורהאן
    Sudanese leader Abd al-Fattah al-Burhan
    (Photo: Reuters)
    According to the plane's log, it took off from Israel to Congo on Monday evening, using a route that passed over the Suez Canal, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, on a flight that took a little less than 7 hours.
    "The picture for Sudan changed a lot after I met with Netanyahu," Burhan said at a press conference after his talks with the prime minister.
    "The meeting was held without conditions and was coordinated by Washington. The results of the meeting will be announced soon, first and foremost improving the economy. The government will examine the issue of cooperation and then update Israel," he said.
    Sudan is a Muslim country in northeastern Africa, with a population of more than 43 million. It does not have diplomatic relations with Israel although pundits believe that by establishing a relationship with Israel and ending its diplomatic isolation, the Sudanese leader aims to help his country go through a process of modernization.
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