Indian national carrier Air India announced that it will begin flights between India and Israel by May, 2017. AI is planning to open the New Delhi-Tel Aviv route with three weekly flights. Yariv Levin, Minister of Tourism - Israel said, “Air India Chairman Ashwani Lohani was deeply impressed with his visit to Israel and, in his own words, is convinced that the many Indian tourists who will visit Israel will find it an exceptional tourism destination. There is no doubt that the opening of the route, combined with our marketing efforts in India, will generate a significant increase in incoming tourism from India.”
Talking about the commencement of the new flight, Lohani said, “Air India is looking forward to the opening of the direct route to Israel in a few months’ time. I believe that this will have a positive effect on the tourism traffic between our two countries.”
The Israel Ministry of Tourism established their India office in 2014 and since then tourist arrivals from India to Israel has grown by 28%. Regarding the growth in the India market, Hassan Madah, Director of the Israel Ministry of Tourism in India, said, “We are very happy with the growth in Indian travellers to Israel. In 2016, there were 44,672 Indian tourists that travelled to Israel, setting a new record for the highest number of travellers from India. With Air India commencing operations directly to Israel, we are confident of an increased influx of arrivals to Israel in 2017.”
India and Israel have a long relationship, 2017 marks 25 years of relations between the two young nations, focusing on tourism - Israelis have been visiting India for longer. With the addition of the Delhi - Tel Aviv sector to Air India's roster, travel between the two countries is slated to increase exponentially, strengthening the relationship between the two nations.