Two more foreign airline companies are coming to Kochi in Kerala, giving tourists from the city the opportunity to fly directly to Tel Aviv in Israel and Maldives.
Israeli airline Arkia would start services from Kochi on September 28. It would fly passengers to Tel Aviv and back to Kochi. There would be two services per week. More services would be arranged depending on group bookings. Air bus A 321 neo would be deployed to cover the eight-hour travel from Kochi to Tel Aviv.
Flights from Tel Aviv to Kochi would be on Friday and Monday, while the return service from Kerala would be on Saturday and Tuesday. The flight that starts from 9:15pm from Tel Aviv would reach Kochi at 7:50 the next morning. The flight that commences from Kochi at 9:45pm would reach Tel Aviv at 3:15am. Passengers are allowed to carry 7kg of handbag and 23kg of check-in luggage for free.
Established in 1949, Arkia is the second-largest airline company in Israel. It conducts services to 25 destinations, both domestic and international.
So far, people from Kochi heading to the holy land of Israel had to get down at the airports in the Gulf countries and resume their journey.
Maldivian, the national airline of the Maldives, would connect Kochi to the Hanimaadhoo airport in the country. The service from Kochi to Hanimaadhoo would be started on October 28. In the initial phase, three services would be held on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. It takes just one hour to reach Maldives.
Currently in India, services to Maldives are available from Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai.
The Canadian firm's Dash 8-300 aeroplane would be used for the service from Kochi to Hanimaadhoo. Fifty people can travel in these planes.
Maldivian is operated by state-owned Island Aviation Services Ltd (IASL). The IASL is also involved in airport management, maintenance of flights, cargo and package tours. Started in 2000, the company is completely run by the government.
Apart from domestic travel, services are also carried out to Bangladesh, Thailand and China.
The company owns eight Dash 8-300 aeroplanes, two Dash 8-200 planes, and one airbus each of 320 and 321. Maldives also deploys amphibian sea planes to connect the islands.