Saudi grants airspace approval for flights to Israel

 08 Feb 2018 - 15:11

Saudi grants airspace approval for flights to Israel

Al Jazeera

Saudi Arabia has granted for the first time permission for Air India flights headed to Israel to use its airspace, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

The decision, which will be implemented in March, means that the flights from New Delhi to Tel Aviv would be shortened by two and a half hours.

The Saudi government had banned flights headed to Israel from using its airspace for 70 years. 

The decision signifies warmer ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, who have been linked to having increasingly covert relations over the last year.

This has been credited to the shakeup of Saudi domestic and foreign policy, spearheaded by the young and ambitious Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"The political changes in Saudi Arabia and the desire to consolidate power is the main reason why these relations with Israel were opened," Mahjoob Zweiri, an associate professor with the Gulf Studies Program department at Qatar University, previously told Al Jazeera.

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