Flying to Tel Aviv on Air India: Saudi Arabia opens airspace for shorter flights

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In an unprecedented and historic move, Saudi Arabia will provide full access to its airspace for Star Alliance member Air India, on its commercial flight to Tel Aviv.

The flight from India to Tel Aviv, is scheduled to commence soon, given the hostile relations in the past between Saudi Arabia and Israel, the former debarred use of its airspace to all commercial flights bound for Israel.

This move will reduce flight time by two hours, as earlier Israel bound flights had to take a detour and go round the Red Sea and the Arabian Peninsula, thus increasing fuel consumption. According to a statement by the Israel prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, this path-breaking agreement was signed today between Saudi Arabia and Air India.

The coming together between old foes Saudi Arabia and Israel is a backdoor diplomatic move to counter the growing anxiety of the emergence of Iran as a nuclear state. Israel is giving a financial grant of USD 750,000 to Air India

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.