National carrier Air India (AI) today said it will start flights to Israel by May, a move that is likely to boost tourism traffic.
AI is planning to open the New Delhi-Tel Aviv route with three weekly flights by May, the state-run airline said in a release here.
"We are looking forward to the opening of the direct route to Israel in a few months' time. I believe this will have a positive effect on the tourism traffic between our two countries," Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani said.
With the addition of the Delhi-Tel Aviv sector to Air India roster, travel between the two countries is slated to increase exponentially.
"Many Indian tourists who plan to visit Israel will find it an exceptional tourism destination. There is no doubt the opening of the route, combined with our marketing efforts in India, will generate a significant increase in tourist flow from India," Israel Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said.
The Israel Ministry of Tourism established its India office in 2014. Since then arrivals from India to the West Asian country has grown by 28 per cent, according to data compiled by Israel Tourism.
"We are very happy with the growth in Indian travellers. In 2016, there were 44,672 Indian tourists who visited 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 increase in arrivals in 2017," Hassan Madah, Director of the Israel Ministry of Tourism in India, added.