U.S. and Israeli Jews will not be able to fly code-share flights from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia under Delta Air Lineâ€™s new partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines, set to commence in 2012.
Saudi Arabia, which is strictly governed by Sharia law, requires citizens of almost every country to obtain a visa. People who want to enter the country need a sponsor; women, who must be dressed in Saudi standards of modesty, are to be met at the Saudi airport by a man who will be chaperone.
Saudi Arabia bans anyone with an Israeli stamp in their passport from entering the country, even if they are in transit. The kingdom has also been accused of withholding visas from travelers with Jewish-sounding names. Religious paraphernalia like bibles, or anything not related directly to Islam are to be confiscated at the airport.
The Jan. 10 agreement allows Saudi Arabian Airlines to become a member of SkyTeam in 2012 after â€œfulfilling all membership requirements,â€ according to a statement by SkyTeam. The Saudi airline is SkyTeamâ€™s first ever member from the Middle East.