easyJet, a UK-based airline, has said that it plans a third route between the UK and Tel Aviv.
The airline, which already flies to the city from Manchester Airport and London Luton Airport, will start services from London Gatwick Airport from April 1, 2014. The three-times-weekly flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with fares starting from £90.49, and will be available from December 10.
Hugh Aitken, UK commercial manager for easyJet, said: ‘easyJet is delighted to be able to offer new services to Tel Aviv from a third airport in the UK. We expect to carry around 50,000 passengers each year on the new Gatwick service. Combined with our flights from London Luton and Manchester this means we will operate 16 weekly flights to Tel Aviv from the UK.
‘Our research, in conjunction with the Jewish News, has helped us better understand why passengers choose Tel Aviv and informed us about what they enjoyed about their trip. The most striking finding was the destination’s growing popularity with young travellers who viewed it as a relaxing, beach destination to visit.
‘One of the reasons for launching new flights from London Gatwick is because Tel Aviv’s appeal as a popular leisure destination has been growing. Almost 100,000 passengers travelled from both London Luton and Manchester with easyJet in the past year.’
easyJet undertook a survey of adult travellers to better understand visitors’ impressions of Israel. The survey found that a third, 33 percent, of people questioned were visiting Israel for the first time, with 41 percent of first time visitors aged 35 or under. Nearly 75 percent of visitors were travelling purely for leisure, while the rest were on business or a mixture of both.
78 percent of participants said that they would revisit Israel, while 40 percent said that they had already recommended visiting Israel to a friend, and a further 42 percent said that they would recommend Israel to a friend.
easyJet started flying to Tel Aviv in November 2009 from London Luton Airport. Across Europe the airline currently serves Tel Aviv from London Luton and Manchester, as well as Basel, Geneva and Rome.
The airline has recently announced a Berlin – Tel Aviv route, which is the first since the signing of the Open skies agreement between the EU and Israel. In the past twelve months, easyJet has flown more than 330,000 passengers into and out of Tel Aviv, 190,000 of those flew to and from the UK.
easyJet has also increased its flights between Manchester and Tel Aviv from two to three per week between February 17, 2014, and April 28, 2014.