NEW DELHI: In what can be seen as a boost to India-Israel ties, the state-run carrier airline, Air India on Thursday inaugurated its direct flight service between New Delhi and Tel Aviv.
Air India Chairman Pradeep Singh Kharola and the Director of Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) Hassan Madah began this new chapter by cutting a cake at the inauguration ceremony.
The move is said to boost Israel's tourism industry.
The inaugural Tel Aviv-bound flight AI139 took off at 6:00 p.m. The return flight will depart from Tel Aviv at 11:15 p.m. and reach the national capital at 10:00 a.m. the next day. However, from April 1, AI139 will depart from Delhi at 4:50 p.m. and reach Tel Aviv at 9:45 p.m., while the return flight will leave Tel Aviv at 11:15 p.m. to reach Delhi at 9:00 a.m. the next day (Indian Standard Time).
This is also the first flight that will fly over Saudi Arabia covering a shorter route that will save three hours, to complete the journey in mere seven hours.
It may be noted that Israel's national carrier, El Al, operates direct flights between Tel Aviv and Mumbai.