Air India to start Delhi-Tel Aviv flight from March 22

Jon Howard
March 8, 2018

"The route time given by the DGCA to us is seven hours and five minutes, and looking at that schedule we believe it must be flying over the Saudi airspace", the spokesman said.

Following a number of reports in recent weeks, it has been confirmed that Air India will be able to fly over Saudi Arabian airspace on its new route from New Delhi to Tel Aviv.

Air India is launching a new flight from New Delhi to Tel Aviv, starting on March 22, and has been given permission to use the skies over Saudi Arabia, an Air India spokesperson told CNN.

Air India has announced that its Tel Aviv-Delhi flights will begin March 22. Its Tel Aviv-Mumbai flight takes eight hours.

After a flurry of media reports sourced to the Indian carrier last month, Saudi Arabia's civil aviation authority denied having made any agreement with Air India on overflight rights for its new Delhi-Tel Aviv service. Typically, even government aircraft belonging to allies were forced to make a stopover elsewhere.

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The move would effectively end a decades-long Saudi ban on the use of its airspace for flights to Israel.

Saudi Arabia and Israel have no official diplomatic ties, like much of the Arab world.

Netanyahu had told reporters that Saudi Arabia has given Air India approval to fly through its airspace on flights between Israel and India.

He demanded that the ICAO help "procure equal permission for El Al to fly above Saudi Arabia".

The letter to the ICAO adds that this situation, "clearly violates the basic principle of reciprocity and equality as recognized in the global civil aviation industry" and "violates the provision of the Convention on worldwide Civil Aviation".

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