Mustafa AY – TDO – 25.03.2018 On Thursday, an airplane belonging to Indian Air Ways made a flight through Saudi Arabia to Israel’s Tel Aviv. The news suggesting that Saudi Arabia permitted Indian Air Ways to fly through its air space to Israel was confirmed by Yariv Levin - Tourism Minister of Israel- on Saturday. Minister Levin assessed Saudi administration’s move of lifting the ban over the usage of air space by foreign air ways in destination to Israel as “historic event”. What makes Riyadh’s decision ‘historic’ is that although Saudi Arabia hasn’t recognized the existence of Israel, Riyadh opened its air space to the usage of a foreign air ways in destination to Israel for the first time.
Riyadh’s decision on lifting the air space prohibition only encompasses the foreign air ways, not Israeli Air Ways. Riyadh with this move pleased many foreign air ways because they will cut the flight expenses by saving fuel and flight-duration. Israeli Air Ways cannot benefit from these advantages provided by Riyadh, which makes Israeli Air Ways less competitive in the face of foreign air ways companies. That’s why, Israel condemned Saudi Arabia for exposing Israeli Air Ways to a state of unfair competition, in other words, for damaging its commercial interests.