Air India’s inaugural flight to the Zionist entity is due to take off from New Delhi on Thursday, as the 256-seater Boeing 787 Dreamliner overflies Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf states.
Overflying Saudi Arabia will considerably shorten flight times between Israel and India.
“The maiden flight is due to leave New Delhi at 6 P.M. Indian time Thursday and arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport at 9:45 P.M. Israel time, according to the Air India website,” Haaretz Israeli daily reported.
Earlier this month the company said it planned to fly the Delhi-Tel Aviv route three times a week.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Tel Aviv considers the new route important, noting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised the matter of the route with his counterpart, Narendra Modi, when the two met in July in the occupied territories and the following January in India.
The ministry added the route would also lower fares and boost investment and tourism from India to the Zionist entity.
Israeli airlines, El Al, also hopes to be allowed to fly through Saudi airspace, and has been vying for such permission.
El Al flies four weekly flights to Mumbai, but these take seven hours rather than five as they fly south toward Ethiopia and then east to India, avoiding Saudi airspace.
Source: Israeli media