On hand to greet the historic flight was Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz and Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin. And while the move ended a 70-year-old ban on planes flying to or from Israel through Saudi airspace, there is as yet no indication that it will be applied for any Israeli airline.
In light of the fact that the flight passes over Saudi Arabia, it takes about seven hours - the shortest direct flight time between India and Israel.
The 256-seater Boeing 787 Dreamliner was due to leave New Delhi at 6pm local time (13:30GMT), and will arrive at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport at 9:45pm Israeli time (19:45GMT), in what will be the first time the Saudi government has officially allowed a flight to travel in its airspace and straight to Israel.
Air India Chairman Pradeep Singh Kharola and the Director of Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) Hassan Madah started this new journey by cutting a symbolic cake at the inauguration ceremony.
Flight AI 139 landed at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport about 30 minutes after its scheduled arrival time.
It comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described relations with the Arab world as the "best ever", with common concerns over Iran drawing them closer together. "The business operations of the companies who will be interested in bidding for those subsidiaries will also be different.", an official familiar with the development told Moneycontrol.
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March 21 (ANI): National flag carrier airline Air India sought a loan of Dollars 180 million from Bank of Baroda for modification of two aircraft for VVIPs, but did not take it, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said on Tuesday. As a charter member of the Arab League, Saudi Arabia voted against the UN partitioning of Palestine in 1947 and sent troops to fight with other Arab nations against Israel in several major wars, although today it maintains a position of favoring peace and a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, according to the pre-1967 borders, according to the kingdom's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Air India stewardesses (illustration). "Israel is a attractive country, and we expect to carry many people in both directions", he said.
The decision will reduce flight duration by two and a half hours between the two cities - New Delhi and Tel Aviv - and it will also decrease fuel cost.
Interviewed on Israel's Army Radio, Levin voiced confidence that El Al would eventually be allowed to use Saudi airspace. "While IndiGo normally doesn't respond to rumors, in this particular instance, we would like to state that there are no ongoing discussions of this nature", said country largest airline in a statement released on Wednesday denying all the reports.
In a reply to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (AIADMK) MP A.K. Selvaraj's question, Sinha said: "The short-term loan proposed by the airline was not taken as the Government of India released the required funds/amounts from National Small Savings Funds (NSSF) account for the payment towards both procurement and modification of two B777-300ER aircraft".