El Al withdraws High Court petition on Saudi flights
El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. has withdrawn its petition to Israel's High Court over its demand for fair competition with Air India, Globes reports.
In March, Air India was granted permission by the Saudi authorities to fly between India and Israel over Saudi Arabia. This was the first time ever that Saudi Arabia had given such permission, which shortens flight times to Israel by as much as two hours. However, El Al is still required to fly around the kingdom, which it says creates unfair competition.
El Al has withdrawn the petition following a court hearing on July 18, in which the Israeli carrier was given to understand that its case has no chance.
El Al had insisted that it was the victim of discrimination by the State of Israel and unjust competition with Air India. In a recent interview with "Globes," El Al chairman Eli Defes claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was behaving BDS-style towards El Al and that a fundamental term of its privatization was that the carrier should be allowed to compete under fair conditions.
Meanwhile, the status-quo will continue on Israel-India air routes with Air India flying the short route and El Al the much longer one. It is expected that other Asian carriers will be permitted to fly over Saudi Arabia en route to Israel.