Just hours after Air India announced a new route from Tel Aviv to New Delhi through Saudi Arabia’s airspace, the kingdom issued a statement denying that it has agreed to lift the 70-year-old airspace ban on Israeli flights.
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Saudi Arabia says it has not agreed to let a new Air India flight route from Tel Aviv to New Delhi pass through its airspace.
Just hours after the Indian flag carrier announced it would launch the new route that flies over Saudi Arabia, the country’s General Authority of Civil Aviation issued a statement denying that it gave permission for it.
Despite reports of secret talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia in recent years, the kingdom still does not recognize Israel formally. It has banned Israel from entering its airspace for the past 70 years.
Wednesday’s announcement by Air India was made nearly a month after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India, during which the two countries signed agreements in various fields.