Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) has been allowed to transit Saudi Arabian airspace for its 3x weekly Delhi Int'l-Tel Aviv Ben Gurion service set to commence on March 22.

An airline spokesman told Reuters that the carrier had indeed been granted the requisite permissions by Riyadh just days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made similar comments.

The move is the latest in the ongoing thaw in relations between Israel and the Arab world as both sides coalesce to confront a mutual enemy - Iran. However, despite warming ties with the Israelis, Saudi Arabia has been careful not to publically flaunt the two sides' improved relationship and, as such, has still refused to grant El Al Israel Airlines (LY, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion) reciprocal overflight rights for its own Mumbai Int'l service.

The Israeli carrier's CEO Gonen Usishkin has since engaged both IATA and ICAO to protest Riyadh's preferential treatment of Air India at El Al's expense.

According to correspondence seen by Reuters, Usishkin told ICAO head Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu the decision constituted a "significant and unfair advantage” over El Al that would clearly violate equality in aviation. This, he said, would violate the Chicago Convention, under which countries may not impose restrictions on flying over their territory or discriminate against airlines based on nationality.

Saudi Arabia has yet to publically comment on the Israelis' claims.