Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Air India asks to fly over Saudi Arabia on planned Israel route

Jerusalem/New Delhi:  Air India [AIN.UL] said on Wednesday it plans to begin direct flights to Israel and has proposed they pass through Saudi airspace, a route so far off-limits to Israel-bound commercial planes.
Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel and lifting the 70-year-old airspace ban would reflect what appears to be thawing ties between Israel and the kingdom, both U.S. allies with a shared concern over Iranian influence in the region.

An Air India spokesman and Israel’s Airports Authority said the state-run carrier had requested slots for three weekly flights between New Delhi and Tel Aviv. The Airports Authority said the service would begin in early March.

Air India was awaiting clearance from the Indian aviation regulator to fly over Saudi Arabia, the spokesman said.
07/02/18 Steven Scheer, Sudarshan Varadhan/Reuters