Virgin Atlantic has announced it will soon fly between London Heathrow and Ben Gurion airport, Jewish News reported  on Sunday. The five-hour route will operate daily using Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
Tel Aviv will be connected from Heathrow starting September 25, with tickets going on sale beginning February 25. The airline will offer a full range of cabins – upper class, premium, and economy (light, classic, and delight).
The route will link Israel’s second largest city, via Heathrow, with Virgin and Delta services to New York, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic’s chief executive, said: “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.”
He added: “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”.
Virgin Atlantic has worked with the Israel Government Tourist Office in the planning phase of the Tel Aviv service. Both parties seek to promote Israel as a leading tourist destination.
Reacting to the launch of the new route, Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said: “The entry of one of the world’s leading airlines into Israel is another expression of confidence in the [country’s] tourism product. The revolution that we have implemented in the Ministry of Tourism in recent years is bearing fruit with record-breaking numbers of incoming tourism to Israel.
“The new flights will be integrated with the marketing campaign in Europe, which highlights Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I am convinced that, with the entry of Virgin Atlantic into Israel, we will see continued growth in incoming tourism from the UK.”
Sharon Bershadsky, the director of the Israel Government Tourist Office 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.”
Israel welcomed some four million tourists over the course of 2018, setting a new record , the Tourism Ministry reported in December.
[Photo: Arpingstone / WikiCommons ]