70 years of conflict frays as Air India flies through Saudi Arabia to Israel

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For the first time in 70 years of Israel’s existence, Saudi Arabia permitted an Air India flight to pass through its air space to Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport at Tel Aviv.

Air India flight 139 took off from New Delhi and passed over Oman before traversing the border into Saudi airspace, according to a tracking map on the Flightradar24.com website. It landed in Tel Aviv shortly after 10 p.m., a seven-hour flight.

Israel Transport Minister Israel Katz declared it a breakthrough. The flight is the “first civilian connection with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states,” he said.

The route shown below, avoided flying over conflict zones in Iraq/Syria and blockaded Qatari Airspace. the decent phase begins well inside Saudi territory before passing through Jordan and into Israel. Screen Shot 2018-03-24 at 15.32.53.png

Previously flights either had to fly over Pakistan, through Afghanistan, into the Caspian Sea, over Southern Russia/Georgia/Azerbaijan, Turkey then to Israel. The new route saves up to 3 hours.

In any event it is a momentous ocassion, and possibly the start of a very long road towards the recognition of Israel’s existence, although until hte Gaza/Palestine question is solved it will rmeain out of reach. However, this is a big step, and not one to be ignored.

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