Around-The-World -- "How Soon Can We Start?"

Posted 11/16/03

By Louis Y. Fogiel

I was the Station Manager at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport in the early 70s when we learned about TWA’s plans to operate two daily around-the-world flights, one eastbound and one westbound transiting our facility. Claude Girard in PAR Operations sent Roger Spick down to study the routes and flight planning.

Roger told us that Pakistan would not allow a TWA flight coming out of Israel to over-fly their country on the way to India, so any Israel role in the R-T-W plan looked to be problematic. Not content with that prospect, however, we put our heads together and focused on the fact that both BEA and Air France were flying from Tel-Aviv to Bombay. If they could pull it off, why couldn't we do the same?

BEA and AF were good enough to share their flight planning with us, and we noted that their route avoided Pakistan completely. It took an hour longer, following a more northerly track to over-fly Turkey, Iran and southward through the Arabian Gulf to Bombay. In those days, the time of the Shah, Iran and Turkey were the only Muslim countries having diplomatic relations with Israel.

Roger Spick took our planning information back to Paris, and very soon TLV was a successful, thriving station on the new R-T-W service-- seven flights a week in each direction.

Louis Fogiel (1950-1985) worked in Operations, Passenger and Airport Services, spending his entire career in Israel.

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