Israel's El Al to take its row over Saudi airspace to Supreme Court

Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel and flag carrier El Al must take a more circuitous path to avoid Saudi Arabia.

By REUTERS
March 23, 2018 19:00
1 minute read.
Israel's El Al to take its row over Saudi airspace to Supreme Court

An Israeli flag is seen on the first of Israel's El Al Airlines order of 16 Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets, as it lands at Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

JERUSALEM - As Saudi Arabia opened its airspace for the first time to a commercial flight to Israel, El Al will take its own fight for access to Saudi airspace to the Supreme Court in Israel, officials said on Friday.

The historic Air India flight on Thursday ended a 70-year flyover ban for jetliners en route to or from Israel, in what many have taken to be a sign of thawing ties between Israel and Saudi. Granting an Israeli airline access to its air space would, however, mark a dramatic diplomatic shift.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel and flag carrier El Al must take a more circuitous path to avoid Saudi Arabia, which can add hours to flight times.

El Al has asked an airline industry lobby group, the International Air Transport Association, to help it access Saudi airspace.

It has also accused its own government, which approved Air India's new route, of putting it at a disadvantage.

"Such approval, which was granted by the state of Israel, gives a significant and unfair advantage to a foreign airline and is contrary to any principle of reciprocity in the world of international aviation," the company said in a statement.

The court appeal will come early next week, according to one source familiar with the matter. A spokeswoman for El Al confirmed the company intends to bring its complaint to the Supreme Court, but would not give any further details.



Israel's Tourism Minister on Thursday called the maiden Air India flight a diplomatic achievement and said he has been in negotiations to open similar flights with Singapore Airlines and a carrier from the Philippines, which he did not name.

Singapore Airlines told Reuters it is not currently considering services to Israel.

A spokesperson for Philippine Airlines said the company was not in any talks to launch a flight.

"We are studying it, but not in the near future," the spokesperson said.

Related Content

Channel 1 news anchor Geula Even Sa'ar
August 21, 2018
Israeli news anchor draws ire over comments about Corbyn and Avnery

By AMY SPIRO