Air India has submitted a request for flights from New Delhi to Ben Gurion Airport. Three weekly flights on the route will begin in May.
The Israel Airports Authority announced that civil aviation between Israel and India has grown significantly in recent years, culminating with a 22.8% increase in activity in 2016, when the number of passengers flying directly between the countries reached 158,000. In addition, many other travelers between the two countries do not fly directly; less than one third of travelers from Israel to India, 27%, use direct flights.
Airports Authority figures show that the number passengers flying directly between the two countries rose 12.4% to 130,000 in 2015. An analysis of indirect flights to India shows that 30% of passengers to India flew via Moscow, 14.5% through Instanbul, 11.8% by way of Tashkent, 2.3% via Larnaca, etc.
The main destinations in India for Israelis are Mumbai (62,280 passengers), New Delhi (57,370), Bangalore (11,502), and Goa (6,347). Only El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) currently runs direct flights between Israel and India.
According to an economic report produced by the Israel Airports Authority based on an analysis of the routes to India, a different airline operating another or a competing direct route, or a route to a different city in India, could increase its market share of flights to India.
In the framework of the consumer revolution and the open skies agreement, Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz ordered the Airports Authority to continue developing new routes and the existing potential of new routes. Meetings were held with airlines as part of a survey of principal markets.
Katz said, "At the beginning of the week, Air India representatives will meet with professional aviation experts. We're continuing to develop airports in Israel and pushing down prices, so that the consumer revolution reaches every household, and the Israeli public will be the main beneficiary. More airlines and airplanes flying to and from Israel enhance competition for the Israel consumer and lowers ticket prices substantially."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on March 2, 2017
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