Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority denied on Wednesday any authorization for flights between India and Israel using its airspace.
Following a Reuters news report on the matter, a spokesman for the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in Saudi Arabia said the no authority has given permission to Air India.
Air India recently announced that it plans to start direct flights to Israel and has proposed to travel through closed Saudi airspace.
A spokesman for Air India said the state-owned carrier had ordered three flights a week between New Delhi and Tel Aviv. He added that the Indian airlines are waiting for approval to cross Saudi airspace in those flights.
Israeli airlines El Al currently operates four flights a week to Mumbai, but takes seven hours instead of five because they take a southern route towards Ethiopia and then east to India, where they cannot cross Saudi airspace.