El Al Drops Supreme Court Petition Against Air India
Israel’s national carrier dropped its motion after the court signaled that it would not rule on the issue of access to Saudi airspace
Following a recommendation by Israel’s Supreme Court, El Al, the country’s national airline, has dropped its petition against competition from a new five-hour Air India route from New Delhi, which passes over Saudi airspace on its way to Tel Aviv, El Al announced Wednesday.
In the petition filed in March against Air India, El Al requested the court either allow it to fly above Saudi Arabia—which the court has no authority to do—or prohibit India’s national carrier from doing so when flying to and from Israel. Since the two countries do not maintain official diplomatic relations, flights originating from or heading to Israel are generally forbidden from entering Saudi airspace.
Before the launch of the new route in March, El Al operated the only direct flight from Israel to India, which takes up to eight and a half hours, due to a detour around the Arabian Peninsula.
An El Al airliner. Photo: PR