According to sources Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Saudi Arabia had granted Air India permission to fly over its territory on its new routes to and from Tel Aviv. Meanwhile there was no immediate confirmation from either Saudi officials or Air India. Netanyahu made the announcement during a briefing in Washington to Israeli reporters after he had met US President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel and lifting the 70 year old airspace ban would reflect what appears to be thawing ties between Israel and the kingdom, both US allies with a shared concern over Iranian influence in the region. Previously Air India announced the planned thrice weekly flights to Tel Aviv over Saudi soil, but the General Authority of Civil Aviation in Riyadh said at the time it had not granted such permission to the carrier.
Accordingly El Al Israel Airlines, the country's flag
carrier, flies four weekly flights to Mumbai. These take seven hours as they
fly south toward Ethiopia and then east to India, avoiding Saudi airspace. Recently
the Israel media have said that Saudi over flight routes could reduce travel
time by more than two hours.
IFF kick-started in Chennai Accordingly the 16th edition of the Chennai International Film Festival was kicked off in the city on Thursday with an inaugural function held at Kalaivanar Arangam. Reports added the festival will continue for a week until December 20. It is spearheaded by Indo Cine Appreciation Foundation (ICAF), CIFF is an annual event that showcases some of the best National and International films and draws a huge crowd of cinephiles, both young and old from across the state.
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