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newsmoments.net June 22, 2018


Claims of flights to Israel over Saudi Arabia cause confusion

07 March 2018, 11:38 | Simon Arnold

Netanyahu: Saudi Arabia now allowing Air India to fly across territory to Israel

Air India Signs Deal to Fly Over Saudi Arabia On Route To & From Tel Aviv

There was no immediate confirmation of the agreement from Saudi Arabia or Air India.

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

Air India's flight path between Tel Aviv and Mumbai, circumventing Saudi airspace. Israel's tourism ministry has announced a one-time grant of 750,000 euros to Air India for flight operations.


Interacting with reporters after his meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House, Netanyahu said that Air India has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia over the matter.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday claimed that Saudi Arabia had approved flights by Air India, the national airline in India, to cross over Saudi airspace, but were shifty denied by Air India officials.

Meanwhile in New Delhi, an Air India spokesperson reacting to Prime Minister Netanyahu's statement said, "We are yet to receive any communication from the Indian regulator".


Saudi Arabia does not recognise Israel and lifting the 70-year-old airspace ban would reflect what appears to be thawing ties between Israel and the kingdom. While it is no secret that private jets can fly from Saudi and other Gulf airports to Israel, they could not use the direct route and had to make a stopover in Amman airport first.

EI AI Israel Airlines now has four weekly flights to Mumbai and it takes seven hours as they fly south toward Ethiopia and then east to India, avoiding the Saudi airspace.

The move is seen as a nod to India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's influence in the region, who visited the occupied West Bank on February 10.


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



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