Virgin Atlantic announces new service between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv

Virgin Atlantic has announced plans to commence a new service between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv, Israel with the first flight offered on September 25, 2019.

The airline will fly daily between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport, and the five hour flight will operate on an Airbus A330-300 aircraft. Flights to Tel Aviv are on sale from February 25, 2019.

Offering over 180,000 seats each year, the new service will offer connections for customers connecting from Tel Aviv via London Heathrow to destinations throughout North America across both the Virgin Atlantic and Delta networks including New York, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO, commented: ‘2019 marks the start of a new phase of growth for Virgin Atlantic as we work to achieve our ambition to become the most loved travel company. Tel Aviv represents a fantastic opportunity for us – Israel’s economy is booming and as one of the world’s leading tech hubs we’re anticipating many business travellers and entrepreneurs flying between Tel Aviv and the UK. We also see a significant opportunity to increase competition in the US – Tel Aviv market, using the strength of our trans-Atlantic Joint Venture with Delta to offer customers from Tel Aviv a wide range of US destinations connecting through London Heathrow including New York and San Francisco.’

‘I’m also thrilled to introduce this new destination to our leisure customers and I know it’s somewhere they’ll love to visit. Renowned for its cultural sites and with UNESCO recognised architecture, Tel Aviv also boasts beautiful beaches, a buzzing artistic and nightlife scene, incredible food and is a great base to explore the tourist destinations of the region including the iconic historical city of Jerusalem, Nazareth, and the Dead Sea’.

Sharon E. Bershadsky, Director, IGTO for the UK and Ireland, added: ‘We’re thrilled with the launch of the new flights and Virgin Atlantic’s confidence in the Israeli product. The ‘Two Sunny Cities, One Break’ campaign has been very successful in showcasing Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and we’re proud of our continued commitment to working with the travel trade industry. We are looking forward to working together with the Virgin Group in order to promote Israel as a leading tourist destination.’

Virgin Atlantic is set to become the founding member of a new, USD13 billion transatlantic joint venture with over 300 daily transatlantic flights and 96 non-stop destinations, alongside Delta, Air France and KLM as well as launching new services from London Heathrow to Las Vegas and Manchester to Los Angeles.

easyJet announces new route between London Gatwick and Tel Aviv

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.