Air India has a message it wants to make loud and clear: we are not on the verge of collapse. But if you’ve been reading newspapers lately in Israel, you may have been told otherwise.
In an interesting story of intrigue and what may be unfriendly competition, several Israeli media outlets recently reported that Air India was “trapped” in huge debt and on the verge of bankruptcy. Israeli passengers who were booked on Air India were advised to refund their tickets and retrieve their money.
But Air India emphatically denies it is going under. In fact, its Delhi to Tel Aviv route (which, in a diplomatic breakthrough, flies over Omani and Saudi airspace) is among its best-performing. Air India issued the following terse statement concerning the “fake” news:
Air India 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.
We would like to clear the air that, contrary to these speculation, 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.
Air India added that is it even thinking about increasing service to Israel from three flights per week to four.
Is EL AL Behind This?
EL AL sued the Israeli government and Air India when the new route was announced, claiming that the use of Saudi airspace placed EL AL at a competitive disadvantage. The direct flight path shaved about two hours off of flight time. EL AL serves Mumbai, but not Delhi.
EL AL Chairman Eli Defes described it like this:
It’s as if British Airways were allowed to fly a short route between London and New York while United Airlines or Delta were obligated to fly to London via Africa.
Isreal’s Supreme Court urged EL AL to drop the matter, which it did, but the issue has still not been resolved…EL AL is still flying a circuitous route to Mumbai.
Per the Economic Times, some in the media are blaming EL AL for the story. If true, that’s a pretty mean trick, even as EL AL’s anger is understandable over the unequal airspace restrictions.
Air India is not in great financial health. In fact, it is in terrible financial health. But it is the darling of the Indian Government and will not be going anywhere, anytime soon. Thus, I’d feel comfortable booking Tel Aviv to Delhi or any other flight. You concern should be rats and cockroaches, not the collapse of the carrier.
If El AL is angry that it can’t overfly certain counties, perhaps it’s efforts are better suited to lobby the Israeli government to stop treating Israeli Arabs as second hand citizens and all palenstians as convicts? Perhaps that would allow neighboring counties to be more receptive to Israel as a Democratic state rather than an oppressor.
@Capitan obvious I’d recommend doing some research before misleading and pointing incorrect facts.
Isreali Arabs have the same rights as all Israelis and in fact, in some areas are treated better than other Israelis, for example:
1) They don’t have mandatory military service(the rest do).
2) They are allowed to enter the A territories(it is illegal for other Israelis).
Isreal is the only functioning Democratic state in the middle east and will continue to be so for many years to come whether you like it or not.
@Saige, I’m glad you have decided to completely disregard the second point in my comment. None the less let me address your comments about what I said being misleading. In fact, the the State’s very own PM has stated that “Israel is not a state for all its citizens.”
So please tell me where I am misleading people. I won’t get into the underfunding and basic abandament of the Arab sectors but on its face, if anyone is spreading in correct facts and misleading statements it is YOU. Also your reading comprehension is quite lacking.
From a Bloomberg article:
“Israel is not a state of all its citizens,” Netanyahu said on Facebook after a local celebrity criticized his assertion that Arab parties don’t belong in any government formed after the April 9 vote. “Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people—and it alone.”
Netanyahu then appeared to equivocate, adding that Arabs have equal rights. Yet while he’s repeatedly attacked Arab parties and exploited fears over the Arab vote to drive right-wing turnout, Netanyahu had never before explicitly suggested that one can’t be Israeli and Arab at the same time. About a fifth of Israel’s 9 million people are both.
My favorite quote “Air India is growing from strength to strength”… Yeeeaaaahhhhh. That’s why they are parting out new 777’s to keep the other portion of their fleet in the air and why they want to lease Jet’s airplanes.
You are right though. Their is simply no way the Indian government is going to let them collapse. Which is a bit of a shame really given the overall negative impact that creates on the Indian market not to mention government aviation policy.
“…and thwart its rising graph…”
What is a rising graph?
With Air India all graphs point downwards, surely 🙂
Air India taking a page from Alitalia…..
You might argue that Air India needs any competitive advantage they can get. I understand EL AL’s sour grapes, but like it or not that’s just the way things are. Given Israel’s less than pristine relations with many neighbors and internal Arab population, it’s just not very realistic to expect things to change for EL AL any time soon.
Air India is similar case of Air Canada that supposedly is private but government give them so much money…and concessions to keep them alive, didn’t happen when Canadian was in trouble and let them die to strength Air Canada without any competition and Allowing Government to fly only Air Canada when it’s possible…
One would have thought that the current Israeli PMs love fest with MBS would ensure that El Al gets the same treatment.
Sadly power hungry, corrupt, right wingers only care for themselves
Air India is the spoiled kid of the Indian Government and is one of the most horrendous airline in India… Jet Airways and Kingfisher tried but the protectionism over Air India killed them… Now they are facing a big competition on Low Cost carriers…who want meals with cockroaches?? El Al or not, the finances of Air India are not good…they cannot buy new airplanes because creditors don’t believe them, is their excuse to defend their route to TLV and I’m agreed… Never buy a ticket on an airline that is having struggling to get credit…you might end loosing money.
El Al is just jealous..Air India being the oldest airline in Asia and which is ownes by the 5th Largest economy in the world Will Never collapse UNLESS India’s economy doesnt do good.
So el Al can cry and even Air India with its debt will continue to fly cause of its government and India’s billion pupulation whose flying AI so It aint going nowhere.
At times when most of the airlines have gone off the chart and An airline like AI still comtinues to fly I would for sure buy their ticket anyday cause I know I will for sure fly and the airline wont go nowhere.