Saudi to Open Airspace to Indian-Israeli Flights: Netanyahu

Adjust Comment Print

Saudi Arabia has not confirmed these contacts, and it maintains that establishing diplomatic ties with Israel would necessitate a withdrawal from Arab lands captured during the 1967 war.

Air India has been now allowed to fly over Saudi Arabia on its new route from New Delhi to Tel Aviv. Israel's tourism ministry has announced a one-time grant of 750,000 euros to Air India for flight operations. It is expected that the Saudi overflight routes could reduce travel time by more than two hours.

Washington- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Saudi Arabia has given Air India approval to use its airspace for flights between Israel and India.

Netanyahu told business leaders while in India that an "efficient and direct route" between the countries was an important goal.

"It is for them to decide on our request, but we haven't yet received any communication about it from the regulator".

Leaders from Israel and the United States lauded praise on the Gulf States of Saudi Arabia under the Crown Prince Mohammod Bin Salman (MBS) and the UAE for their 'commitment to fight terrorism, ' at the AIPAC meeting this week.

Saudi Arabia officially does not recognize the existence of Israel, and all planes flying from Israel to India and returning, are banned from flying through Saudi Arabian airspace. As per reports, the first flight between New Delhi and Tel Aviv is scheduled to take off in a few weeks from now.

Israeli prominent airlines El Al now operates an India service that takes a detour over the Red Sea to avoid flying over Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Netanyahu, who visited India in January, acknowledged the agreement could hurt El Al.

This has been credited to the shakeup of Saudi domestic and foreign policy, spearheaded by the young and ambitious Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.