While Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel and the two nations have no formal diplomatic relations, the permission for the Tel Aviv-bound flight to overfly the desert kingdom suggests that there could be a thawing of ties between the two nations.
The flight will operate thrice-a-week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and will cover the distance in around seven hours - making it the fastest air- connectivity from India to Israel.
"I am pleased that the great efforts we made with Air India over the last two years are bearing fruit and a direct route from New Delhi to Israel has now opened", Minister of Tourism, Yariv Levin said in a press release published on Wednesday.
The first flight in Air India's direct five-hour flight route between Delhi and Tel Aviv, passing through Saudi airspace is scheduled to take off and land at Ben Gurion International Airport Thursday evening, according to airport schedules.
There will now be three flights weekly in each direction, ending a decades-long Saudi ban on the use of its airspace for commercial flights to Israel. A spokeswoman for El Al confirmed the company intends to bring its complaint to the Supreme Court, but would not give any further details.
It plans to take its own fight for access to Saudi airspace to the Supreme Court in Israel, officials said on Friday. Ultimately this (El Al overflights) will happen too, ' he said. It is still unknown whether Israeli airliners can use the airspace of the Gulf state or not.
The decision is spurring many observers to query the implications of such a move in light of the Saudi Kingdom's new regional aspirations.
"The Arabs have never been closer to Israel", Netanyahu said during a visit to Washington earlier this month, adding that the greatest challenge for both Israel and its potential Arab partners is Iran.
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Singapore Airlines did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
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