Arkia is a small Israeli airline, based in Tel Aviv. They made headlines when they took delivery of the first Airbus A321LR in November 2018. They have a small fleet of 8 aircraft with another 3 on order. Arkia has 2 Airbus A321LR with another one on order. They also have a couple of Airbus A330-900neos on order.
Currently, EL-AL and Air India operate flights from Mumbai and New Delhi to Tel Aviv. Arkia for quite some time has expressed interest in operating flights to India. Arkia has now decided to connect Tel Aviv with Goa and Cochin September 2019 onwards.
Arkia will operate 1x weekly flights to Goa and 2x weekly flights to Cochin. Flight to Goa will depart on Tuesdays and to Cochin on Mondays and Fridays. From October 27, 2019, the flight to Cochin will shift to Sundays and Thursdays. Flights will operate year-round except during monsoon in India.
According to Arkia CEO Nir Dagan,
The airline would offer direct access to preferred destinations at equal prices for everyone… For India, the state of Kerala, and the destinations that we selected have been the dream of Israelis from all parts of the tourist spectrum.
Flights will go on sale from March 24, 2019. Arkia’s A321LR has 220 seats with a range of 3300nm. Arkia will offer full service on board. They have a BYOD IFE (bring your own device). Arkia serves Kosher meals on board. They have priority seating which they offer for $35.
Arkia currently operates domestic flights as well as flights to Europe and Asia. Arkia only flies to Bangkok in Asia. For a small airline, it is quite surprising to operate flights to Cochin and Goa. It is always a plus point for passengers due to enhanced connectivity as they have stayed away from Mumbai and Delhi which already have connectivity to Israel. No doubt these are monopoly routes.
What do you think of the plans of this small carrier of Israel?