Wednesday 6 March 2019 5:15 AM UTC
TEL AVIV March 6: Israel’s Arkia Airlines will introduce direct flights to Goa and Kochi — considered “dream destinations” by many Jews — from this September, company officials said. The airlines’ representatives said that the sale of tickets for the flights will begin on March 24.
The flight to Goa will take off on Tuesdays, while there will be two weekly flights to Kochi taking off on Mondays and Fridays in September-October, and on Sundays and Thursdays starting on October 27.
They said that the likely price of the tickets to Kochi would begin at $250 one way and for Goa at $300.
The flights will take about seven hours, Orly Peleg-Mizrahi, spokesperson for the Israeli airline, told news agency PTI.
The airlines’ decision came after Air India last year introduced direct flights between Delhi and Israel’s capital Tel Aviv.
“The launch of direct flight from Delhi to Tel Aviv has been a massive success with an increase of almost 60 per cent in the number of tourists visiting Israel from India in the last two years,” Lydia Weitzman, Foreign Press Adviser to the Ministry of Tourism, said.
Israeli national carrier El Al has been operating direct flights between Mumbai and Tel Aviv but takes a longer route as it cannot fly over the Gulf Countries’ airspace.
Israel does not have diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia and Oman but its “warming relations” with these countries have recently been widely publicised.
Goa has been the most popular destination for young Israelis, mainly among those looking to travel to India just after finishing their mandatory army service.
Israel has about 25,000 Jews from Kochi.
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