There was one notable development in the Israeli-Saudi relationship this quarter. Sources in Israel’s aviation industry told Haaretz on 2/7 that the Saudi government had granted an Air India request to operate direct flights from New Delhi to Tel Aviv on a new route through Saudi airspace. Such a move would cut more than two hours from the previous route’s travel time and, more importantly, end the Saudi government’s seventy-year ban on any aircraft flying to or from Israel in its airspace. It also would offer a further tangible demonstration of a warming of ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, something Israel has pursued for years. However, a spokesperson for Saudi Arabia’s Civil Aviation General Authority denied the report (Reuters, 2/7).
Quarterly Updates for (16 Nov 2017 — 15 Feb 2018)