Air India planning flight to Israel, with a twist!

Air India’s international interests are not waning. In 2015, Air India launched a long flight to San Francisco from Delhi, 3x every week. They recently doubled the flight to 6 times a week given the good response they received to that flight. They started a fifth freedom flight between London and Newark, by launching an Ahmedabad – London – Newark flight. They launched flights to Madrid as well in December 2016 and took over the Delhi – Vienna flights from Austrian.

In 2017, they already have plans to go to Copenhagen in May 2017, and Washington DC in July 2017 from Delhi. But that is not all. They are planning to go to Israel as well. Air India is planning to deploy a 787 to fly to Israel in the coming months. However, it seems this will come with a twist. Currently, El Al operates a 767 between Tel Aviv and Mumbai 3 times a week.

The Economic Times reports:

The flying time between these two cities should be less than 5 hours but El Al can’t overfly some countries on direct flight path like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan due to which it has to take a longer route.

Here is the route the El Al flight takes, having to fly 7:30 hours to arrive in Mumbai since it cannot overfly the Persian/Arabian Gulf (just being politically correct!)


Luckily for Air India, they are planning a flight from Delhi Mumbai, and claim to not have to do an entirely circuitous gig but reach Saudi Arabia as usual and then take right over the Red Sea.

While I am not sure how much traffic exists between the two countries, I’m gathering this should add to one more destination for India’s national carrier, and with price competition, there should be lower cost to get around.

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Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Considering the number of Israelis that visit India via gateway Mumbai (not sure if El Al has a route to DEL – but they probably do), this could be prudent route to start.

    However, would prefer that AI do BOM-CPH direct, rather than ex-DEL.

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