In an unprecedented and historic move, Saudi Arabia will provide full access to its airspace for Star Alliance member Air India, on its commercial flight to Tel Aviv.
The flight from India to Tel Aviv, is scheduled to commence soon, given the hostile relations in the past between Saudi Arabia and Israel, the former debarred use of its airspace to all commercial flights bound for Israel.
This move will reduce flight time by two hours, as earlier Israel bound flights had to take a detour and go round the Red Sea and the Arabian Peninsula, thus increasing fuel consumption. According to a statement by the Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, this path-breaking agreement was signed today between Saudi Arabia and Air India.
The coming together between old foes Saudi Arabia and Israel is a backdoor diplomatic move to counter the growing anxiety of the emergence of Iran as a nuclear state. Israel is giving a financial grant of USD 750,000 to Air India.