Arab Flyover Refusals Hang Up Air India

YERUSHALAYIM -

The refusal of Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries to grant Air India permission to overfly its territory has caused the airline to suspend its planned Tel Aviv-New Delhi route, Globes reported on Tuesday

An Air India official explained that overflight permission cannot be obtained. It would necessitate a more roundabout route, stretching a five-hour flight into an eight-hour flight. Since that would add significantly to costs and make the route less attractive to passengers, Air India may abandon the project altogether.

Thrice weekly flights were slated to begin this month.

If Air India does cancel, it would leave El Al as the only carrier with direct flights from Israel to India. About 27 percent fly directly to India; the rest go via Moscow, Instanbul or Tashkent.