El Al complains to UN after Air India receives permission to fly over Saudi Arabia

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. Yesterday, Air India launched the ticket sale for its inaugural Tel Aviv-New Delhi flight on a new route that uses Saudi Arabia’s airspace.
El Al plane Photo Credit: Moshe Shai/Flash 90

A day after India Air began selling tickets for seven-hour Tel Aviv-New Delhi flights, El Al announced that it has appealed to the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization, requesting that its India-bound planes be allowed to fly over Saudi Arabia.

According to Israel’s flagship airline, Air India is gaining a significant advantage because Saudi Arabia has allowed it to fly over its territory when traveling to and from Tel Aviv. The exclusive Air India advantage violates equality in aviation, claimed El Al.

“I am requesting that the ICAO, which has the power to enforce the provisions of the Chicago Convention, take action ...to procure equal permission for El Al to fly above Saudi Arabia,” El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin wrote in the letter.

Air India launched the ticket sale for the first flights that will travel on the route for about $300 one way yesterday. The inaugural flight is set for March 22. The airline plans to operate flights between the two destinations on the new route three times a week.

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