PANAJI: Israel’s second largest airline will launch two non-stop routes to India – Goa and Kochi, Kerala – starting from September 28, an official said on Tuesday.
In s statement, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism for India and Philippines, said that Arkia airlines’ new services will operate all year round except during the monsoon season.
The airlines will use the Airbus A321LR and include non-stop flight operations from Tel Aviv to Goa and Kochi with 220 seats and a full flight service on board.
With one-way duration of seven hours, Arkia will fly once a week to Goa on Tuesdays and twice a week to Kochi on Mondays and Fridays.
“In light of the significant increase in incoming tourism from India over the past few years, the Ministry of Tourism has been encouraging Israeli airlines like Arkia to foray into the Indian market,” Madah said in the statement.
“We see India becoming one of the key source markets for Israel in the coming years and with Arkia’s direct flights to Goa and Kochi, the Indian traveller’s interest will surely increase.
“Goa attracts many Israeli tourists who visit the Indian state for leisure holidays, while Israel has recorded a notable mix of pilgrimage and leisure travellers from Kochi.
“This will help meet the growing demand and enable us to achieve higher Indian arrivals to Israel in 2019,” he added.
The development would come as a relief to the travel and tourism sector in Goa which has seen a dip over the last few years, in 2018-19 especially after Finnair announced its decision to stop direct flights to the coastal state after 25 years, as did several charter operators from Russia.