Air India is examining the feasibility of
Operating a direct flights from Mumbai to Israel's capital Tel Aviv amidst issues of securing overflying rights
from Arab Countries that could decide the duration of the flight, according to
While the government owned airliner has been
expanding its international presence, efforts to start services to Israel is
yet to take off. There were plans to commence a direct flight from Delhi to Tel
Aviv earlier this year but could not take off due to various reasons. Relations
between the two countries have improved following Prime Minister Modi's visit
to that country this year. He was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit that
country since independence.
Air India has started services to 15
international cities the latest being the direct flight to Danish capital
Copenhagen. The flight proposal to Tel Aviv ran into rough weather as duration
of the flight from Delhi worked out to nine hours. The proposal was not commercially viable it was dropped.
The latest proposal under consideration is to
introduce a direct flight from Mumbai which will cut short the flying time to
seven hours. The flight duration could come down further if the Airlines
manages to secure the permission to fly over Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
In March this year, Air India had announced that
it would start flights to Israel in May with three weekly flights on the New
Delhi-Tel Aviv route. However, the plan did not materialise.
During a visit to Israel in July, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi had said direct flights would be launched between Delhi, Mumbai
and Tel Aviv to encourage people-to- people contacts.