(JNS) Following a number of reports in recent weeks, it has been confirmed that Air India will be able to fly over Saudi Arabian airspace when its three-day-a-week New Delhi to Tel Aviv route launches on March 22.
“Air India signed an agreement today to fly to Israel over Saudi Arabia,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Prior to this announcement, flights from Israel heading east were forced to fly around the Arabian Peninsula, adding hours to the trip. The new route over Saudi Arabia will cut the flying time to India down from some eight hours to less than six.
However, Israel’s national carrier El Al, which was until now the only airline offering direct flights from Israel to India, has not been granted similar permission by the Saudis to use their airspace, according to Netanyahu. As such, this may economically disadvantage the Israeli airline, so it is currently in talks with the government about possible subsidies.