Air India granted Saudi transit rights for Israel route

Air India granted Saudi transit rights for Israel route

Air India granted Saudi transit rights for Israel route

Speaking to reporters after meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington, Netanyahu said Air India flights will fly over Saudi territory on its routes to and from Tel Aviv.

For the first time ever, an global airline can use Saudi airspace to fly to Israel.

"We have not received any confirmation".

The new route, Haaretz said, means that the airline would reduce fuel costs and sell cheaper tickets to passengers.

Israel's national carrier El Al now operates an India service that takes a detour over the Red Sea to avoid flying over Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Israel and India have seen a surge in cooperation under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Israel's flagship airline has appealed to the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization, requesting that its flights to New Delhi be allowed to fly over Saudi Arabia.

A spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority confirmed Air India has received permission to land at Israel's Ben Gurion airport, but could provide no further details.

The new route flying through Saudi Arabia will shorten the flights from New Delhi to Tel Aviv by two and a half hours.

El Al has asked the Israeli government and global organizations to ensure that El Al will also be allowed to fly to India on the shorter route, or alternatively that Air India will be compelled to take the current route that El Al is permitted.

Saudi Arabia and Israel have no formal diplomatic ties.

Air India has not published when it would begin its flights to Tel Aviv, with media speculating they were due to start later in March.

- Correction: An earlier version of this article gave an incorrect title for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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