Air India to fly over Saudi to Israel?

Air India to fly over Saudi to Israel?

"One report claimed the Saudi government is weighing the possible normalization of relations with Israel ahead of a planned Middle East peace program by the Trump administration which aims to not only secure a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but lead to recognition of the Jewish state by the larger Arab world", the Arutz Sheva report said.

However, Netanyahu also added that the Saudis did not grant overfly permission to El Al Israel Airlines, the flag carrier of Israel, which operates four weekly flights to Mumbai. If the airline is allowed permission to fly over Saudi Arabia, the duration of the flight will come down by about two hours. "We are in the process of launching direct flights to Tel Aviv. and have applied" for the permission, he said.

If approved, it would be the first time Saudi Arabia allows commercial flights to fly to Israel to use its airspace and would signal a significant shift in policy that has shaped the region for decades.

There was no immediate confirmation of this from Riyadh or Air India.

Netanyahu said that as a result of the short travel of Air India, the Israeli national carrier El Al would be at disadvantage both in terms of cost and travel time.




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

Flying over Saudi airspace, instead of around it, would cut flight times to New Delhi and Mumbai by several hours.

The new Israel-India route was announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Israel in July. As per reports, the first flight between New Delhi and Tel Aviv is scheduled to take off in a few weeks from now.

But the decision also signifies warmer ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which have been seen as having increasingly covert relations over the a year ago.

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