Air India to operate daily Delhi-Tel Aviv non-stop flights
25 June 2018
State-run carrier Air India will soon fly seven times a week from Delhi to Tel Aviv non-stop instead of the thrice-weekly services it currently operates, as the route has gained in occupancy and demand.
The airlines management decided to make the thrice a week Delhi-Tel Aviv flights a daily service, with 80 per cent and above occupancy rate on the route, airline sources said.
“The success of the service is a testament to the strengthening of diplomatic ties between India and Israel and growing people to people contact between the two countries. We are working on the last minute details before announcing the increase in frequency to all days from thrice a week,” they said.
Air India’s Delhi-Tel Aviv flight is also attractive to flyers as it takes only seven and a half hours, which two hours and ten minutes less than the Mumbai-Tel Aviv flight operated by Israeli carrier El Al.
Air India has engaged its 256-seater Boeing 787 Dreamliner on this route. Besides, it has now permission to use Saudi airspace on its flight to Tel Aviv, which makes the route shorter.
The Delhi-Tel Aviv AI 139 flight made its maiden journey on 22 March this year and since then the occupancy rate has gone up from 60 per cent to over 80 to 83 per cent, making it a profitable route for Air India, sources said.
The move is part of Air India’s ongoing efforts to rework its route network by increasing services in economically viable routes and cutting down frequency and services in some sectors.
Consequently, Air India may soon withdraw flights to some European destinations with low occupancy and engage its fleet to Far East and neighbouring countries that have seen a steady rise in demand, sources said.
Besides Air India, several private carriers, such as Jet Airways, IndiGo and Vistara are in the process of firming up plans to fly to more international destinations, which could heighten competition in the industry.
Air India currently has a 17-per cent market share on international routes. Air India’s board of directors is set to meet soon to prepare a revival plan for consideration of the government.