Air India (AI) Tuesday rubbished claims of Israeli media that it is on the verge of collapse and called it “baseless and false”. “Air India (AI) strongly refutes the canards being spread by a section of the media in Israel and a few web/online portals about the airline being on the verge of collapse. This is totally baseless, false and hatched to malign the image of the organisation and thwart its rising graph by vested interest,” PTI quoted statement issued by AI’s Tel Aviv office.
A few Israeli media outlets recently reported that the national carrier was in huge debts running over a billion and may collapse soon. They also advised Israeli passengers, who booked their tickets, to take necessary steps to initiate the refund of money.
The statement further clarified that the carrier is growing from strength to strength. “We would like to clear the air that, contrary to these speculations, Air India is growing from strength to strength and has, in fact, been standing by passengers in distress left stranded by airlines abruptly shutting down. It is requested that any such attempt to create confusion and tarnish the credibility of Air India be rejected outright,” it said.
Air India’s Tel Aviv-Delhi sector is considered as a major diplomatic breakthrough given that the flights use Saudi and Omani airspace, registering an impressive growth with average seat occupancy around 80 per cent making it one of the most lucrative sector. On March 22, the carrier started its operation on the route with three flights per week. The rising demand forced the airline to increase its flights from three to four per week.
“It is a fake news alert, and in fact, Air India is considering further increasing the number of flights on the Tel Aviv-Delhi route,” PTI quoted AI country manager Pankaj Tiwari as saying.
The access to Saudi and Omani airspace shortens the flight path by almost two hours and also significantly lowers the fuel cost which can be transferred on to the passengers, giving Air India a price advantage.
The airline, recently, celebrated one year of successful operations on the route and held an event with various stakeholders at the airport in Tel Aviv.
(With PTI inputs)