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Israel-Iran conflict: Air India temporarily suspends Tel Aviv flights

Israel-Iran conflict: Air India, the largest Indian airline with extensive operations in Europe, the US, and the Middle East, has earlier said that they are monitoring the developing situation in the Middle East.

Edited By: Sheenu Sharma @20sheenu New Delhi Updated on: April 15, 2024 6:27 IST
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Image Source : AIR INDIA (X) Air India temporarily suspends Tel Aviv flights.

Israel-Iran conflict:?Air India today (April 14) decided to temporarily suspend flights to Tel Aviv amid escalating tensions between Israel and Iran. An official said the direct flights between Delhi and Tel Aviv will be suspended for now.

Air India operates four weekly flights between the national capital and Israeli city. The Tata group-owned carrier recommenced services to Tel Aviv on March 3 after a gap of nearly five months.

Air India suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv, starting October 7, 2023, in the wake of the Hamas attack on the Israeli city.

Iran and its proxies operating out of Yemen, Syria and Iraq launched more than 200 projectiles at Israel on Saturday (April 13) night, including dozens of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones.

An Air India flight safely landed in Tel Aviv yesterday at Tel Aviv International Airport and is scheduled to operate from Tel Aviv to India. Two major airlines, El Al and Air India, are operating commercial flights between Israel and India.

India's two major airlines- Air India and Vistara, have announced the avoidance of Iranian airspace and are taking longer flight paths for their Europe and US operations to ensure the safety of passengers and crew. Indian airlines are altering flight paths for Europe and the Middle East due to escalating tensions between Iran and Israel. Air India and Vistara, two major carriers, have opted to avoid Iranian airspace following the Indian government's advisory urging citizens to steer clear of travel to Iran. As a result, they are now taking longer routes to ensure passenger safety and operational stability.

Vistara Air issued a statement regarding the change in flight path due to ongoing tensions between Iran and Israel. In the statement, Vistara Airlines said, "Due to the current situation affecting parts of the Middle East, we are making changes to flight-paths of some of our flights. Contingency routes, which are kept available to ensure operational continuity during such eventualities, are being used instead."

Vistara Airlines has acknowledged that it will be taking longer routes as a precautionary measure, resulting in increased travel time to reach destinations."This may result in longer flight times on certain routes and associated delays. The situation is being monitored closely and further changes will be made if required," a Vistara spokesperson said.

Air India, the largest Indian airline with extensive operations in Europe, the US, and the Middle East, has earlier said that they are monitoring the developing situation in the Middle East. Air India said in a statement, "We are closely monitoring the developing situation in the Middle East. Presently, our aircraft will operate on alternate flight paths to and from India, according to the top priority of the safety of our passengers and crew."

On April 12, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a travel advisory to Indian citizens and asked them to refrain from travelling to both countries until further notice. The ministry further asked people who are currently in Iran or Israel to contact Indian embassies and register themselves. In an official release, the MEA said, "In view of the prevailing situation in the region, all Indians are advised not to travel to Iran or Israel till further notice. All those who are currently residing in Iran or Israel are requested to get in touch with the Indian Embassies there and register themselves. They are also requested to observe utmost precautions about their safety and restrict their movements to the minimum."

Tensions escalated between Iran and Israel amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. Reportedly, Tehran vowed revenge after Israel launched airstrikes on the Iranian embassy in the Syrian capital, Damascus, killing at least seven officials.?

ALSO READ: 'Heavier and regrettable response': Iranian President Raisi's staunch message to Israel and US

ALSO READ: Iran claims it had already informed US about 'limited' attack on Israel for 'self-defence'

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