Direct flight to Israel crosses Saudi airspace for the first time

For the first time in history, Saudi Arabia has allowed a commercial airline to use its airspace for a direct flight to Israel, the country’s Tourism Minister, Yariv Levin, has confirmed, referring to the development as “a really historic day.” On Thursday, Air India 139, en route from New Delhi, landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport after flying over the Saudi kingdom for about three hours. Israel-bound flights traversing Saudi Arabia will allow airlines to cut flight times and fuel costs of the journeys to and from certain destinations. While the Saudis allowed Air India to fly over its territory, Israeli airlines are still banned from using the kingdom’s airspace, which they see as an unfair advantage and contrary to principles of reciprocity.