Thursday, March 08, 2018

Air India to start thrice-a-week Delhi-Tel Aviv flight from March 22


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New Delhi: Air India will introduce thrice-a-week flight from Delhi to Tel Aviv from March 22, the airline said today.

The national carrier had planned to launch the service in May last year, but it couldn't materialise after some countries denied use of their airspaces for flights to Israel.
The announcement from Air India comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters on Monday, during his visit to the US, that Saudi Arabia had given permission to the Indian carrier for flying over its territory on its route from New Delhi to Tel Aviv.
Many Arab and Islamic nations do not recognise Israel and, therefore, disallow airlines from using their airspace for flight services to that country.
"Air India will introduce thrice-a-week flight to Tel Aviv from Delhi with effect from March 22," an airline spokesperson said.

The Air India flight will fly over Oman, Saudi Arabia and Jordan to reach Israel, a senior airline official said on condition of anonymity.
The permission to fly over Saudi Arabia will mean Air India will take a shorter route between Delhi and Tel Aviv and cover the distance in 7 hours and 10 minutes.
The permission to fly over Saudi Arabia will save Air India almost 2 hours and 10 minutes as compared to the longer route taken by Israel's national carrier El Al, which has direct flights between Tel Aviv and Mumbai, according to another Air India source.
El Al takes a circuitous route over the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and then enters India and avoids countries that are on the direct flight path such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This route, too, is covered in 7 hours and 10 minutes.
If Air India were to take this route from New Delhi, it would cover the entire distance in more than nine hours, according to the source.
08/03/18 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times