10:17 GMT +317 August 2018
Listen Live
    Air India Flight parked in Delhi T3 terminal

    Israeli Minister Hopes Saudis to Allow Flights to Tel Aviv Through Its Airspace

    CC BY-SA 2.0 / Ramesh NG / Air India
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    0 08

    Saudi Arabia and Israel have no diplomatic relations, though reports on covert ties between the two nations have been circulating in the media. The prospective Saudi permission to use its airspace to cross into Israel could open the new chapter in Sadi-Israeli relations.

    Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet, told Tel Aviv radio 102 FM that he is hopeful about Saudi permission to Air India to begin direct flights to Israel.

    "There is apparently progress on the matter of flights to and from Israel and India over Saudi Arabia," the minister added.

    READ MORE: Saudi FM Reveals Riyadh Has 'Roadmap' for 'Normal' Ties With Israel

    The statement comes after on Wednesday, a spokesman for Saudi Arabia's General Authority of Civil Aviation denied the reports that the agency had given Air India approval to operate direct flights from Delhi to Tel Aviv.

    According to the Jerusalem Post, however, an Air India spokesman and Israel’s Airports Authority said that the carrier requested slots for three weekly flights between New Delhi and Tel Aviv, with the airport stating that the service is due to begin in March.

    The only currently operating rival to Air India is Israeli El Al, which flies an 8-hour route to Mumbai via southern Yemen. A direct route from New Dehli to Tel Aviv would reduce the flight duration by two and a half hours compared to the current route, as well as cut fuel costs and make tickets more affordable.

    The Air India will get a 750,000 euro grant for launching a new route, according to Israel’s Tourism Ministry, which pursues the policy of intensifying flights to Israel.

    READ MORE: Saudis Reportedly Interested in Bolstering Defense With Israel's Iron Dome

    The lifting of the 70-year-old airspace ban would signify a new era in Saudi-Israeli ties and the rapprochement between the countries which are both US close allies sharing concern over Iranian influence in the Middle East.

    Related:

    Saudis Deny Report of Historic Approval of Flights to Israel Via Its Airspace
    Saudis Reportedly Interested in Bolstering Defense With Israel's Iron Dome
    Iranian Top Prosecutor Accuses US, Israel and Saudi Arabia of Staging Protests
    Saudi FM Reveals Riyadh Has 'Roadmap' for 'Normal' Ties With Israel
    Israel Invites Saudi Crown Prince to Mediate Palestine Peace Talks
    'Joint Military HQ' Would Help Israel, Saudi Arabia Fight Terrorism - CIA Head
    Russian, Saudi, Israeli, Egyptian Leaders Discuss Security Issues in Phone Talks
    Israel Voices Readiness to Exchange Intel With Saudi Arabia to 'Face Iran'
    Fall of Mosul Points to Future Iran Showdown with Saudis, Israelis in Syria
    Saudi Arabia and Israel Might 'Directly Intervene' in Syrian Conflict
    Tags:
    flights, Air India, India, Israel, Saudi Arabia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment