Air India, the most significant International Carrier from India, has been laying down plans to get even bigger by the day. Delhi San Francisco Air India flights were launched three times a week in December 2015 and then doubled frequency to 6 times a week in November 2016. They started a fifth freedom flight between London and Newark, by launching an Ahmedabad – London – Newark flight. They began flights to Madrid as well in December 2016 and took over the Delhi – Vienna flights from Austrian. I’d say that is a spectacular show given they are going in all directions.
We earlier wrote about the Air India flight to Washington DC from Delhi. This went live on 7 July 2017 as well and is operating three times a week as of now. Next, in line, the launches to Stockholm & Copenhagen, have also completed and they are operating usually there. Now, Air India is planning to increase the number of flights to San Francisco and Melbourne & Sydney.
But there is one flight which has been stuck for the longest time. Air India wanted to fly to Tel Aviv for the longest time. Air India had sought to launch flights from India to Tel Aviv. However, it was looked at as commercially unviable because a Delhi-Tel Aviv flight would have been 8 hours when flying around the Arabic Gulf and 5.5 hours when going straight through the Gulf. Air India used to operate flights to Israel about two decades ago but then canned those flights due to viability.
Air India Flights to Tel Aviv Will Launch on March 20, 2018
Air India had considered operating flights from Mumbai to Tel Aviv as well, but now, it seems they received clearance from Saudi Arabia to be able to overfly their airspace towards Tel Aviv, and the airline has decided to fly from Delhi instead. The airline will operate a Boeing 787-8 to Tel Aviv three times a week.
Here is the tentative schedule for the new flight as per the Air India website:
AI139 DEL1800 – 2145TLV 788 247
AI140 TLV2315 – 1000(+1)DEL 788 247
At the moment, El Al is the only carrier operating flights between Israel and India. Their flights are to Mumbai, and the flight operates by crossing to Arava, then continuing through the Red sea and turning east for India later. This makes the flight time long at eight hours, something which is the time required for an India to Europe flight usually.
This is good news for the simple reason that Air India is following through with one more station to utilize those Boeing 787s.