A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Air India departing flight AI139 Thursday, March 22, from Indira Gandhi new Delhi airport named Ben-Gurion in Israel, went down in history.
This is the first passenger flight to Israel, a route which passes over the Arab state that does not recognize the state of Israel.
Air blockade of Israel was declared Arab countries in may 1948, immediately after independence of the Jewish state. Attempt to force foreign airlines refuse to fly to Israel failed, but the ban on flying planes to Israel through the airspace of the Arab countries is still in effect.
The exceptions are Egypt and Jordan, signatory to the peace agreement with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively.
In recent years has been attempts to challenge the ban on the sale Arabian airlines tickets, Israeli citizens, however, even in the case of a legal victory the Israelites preferred airlines to cancel flights and leave from a route, but not to enforce the judgment.
At the end of 2016, the airline Air India has announced their intention to enter the Israeli market, planning to coincide with the first flight to the historic visit to Israel, Prime Minister of India Narendra modi.
However, in may 2017, it became known that the launch of the new route is delayed. The reason for the delay was the refusal lying between Israel and India countries for overflight flying to Israel aircraft through its airspace. Among other things, the refusal was received from the authorities of Afghanistan, Pakistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Fly to Israel to bypass the Arabian Peninsula over the Red sea, as it is forced to do the «El al», Air India didn’t want.
To move the deadlock, it took pressure from the United States and India, a major geopolitical changes in the middle East and political change in Saudi Arabia.
7 February 2018, Air India reported receiving permission to fly to Israel through the airspace of the Saudi Kingdom and will begin flights on March 18. Flight time in this case was reduced from 9 to 7 hours. On the same day, the Saudi civil aviation authority has denied the message of the company, but no more comments from Riyadh followed.
March 1, 2018, the Israeli airline «El al» has directed to the International air transport Association (IATA) official letter with a request to help her get permission to fly in the airspace of Saudi Arabia.
March 6, 2018, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has paid a working visit to the United States again announced the receipt of Indian airlines permission to fly over Saudi Arabia.
On March 8, the airline confirmed this message, announcing the appointment of the first flight to Israel on March 22.
Rebuttal and any additional statements on this issue from Saudi Arabia followed.
Board AI139 departed new Delhi at 18:26 time of India (14:56 in the winter time Jerusalem), with a half-hour delay. Without taking into account the flight delays, he should land at the airport named after Ben Gurion at 21:45, the flight lasted 7 hours and 15 minutes.