Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Delhi-Tel Aviv flight put on hold for now

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious diplomatic outreach towards India’s new found strategic partner Israel by starting a direct Air India flight to Tel Aviv from New Delhi is facing trouble due to viability of the route.

Air India had planned a non-stop flight to Tel Aviv three times a week starting mid-May, with inaugural flight initially planned for May 16, connecting Tel Aviv with New Delhi ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel later this year.

However, it has now emerged that operating such a flight would not be commercially viable till the time India gets permission from the Islamic countries, which fall on the way, to fly in their air space to reach the Israeli city.

Since most of the Islamic and Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, which lie between Mumbai and Tel Aviv, do not allow planes to fly to Israeli cities from its airspace, Air India pilots would have had to take a very circuitous route to avoid overflying countries that have such restrictions for Israel-bound planes.
16/05/17 Girja Shankar Kaura/Tribune