Low-cost UK carrier easyJet plc (LSE: EZJ) inaugurated its Tel Aviv-Berlin route yesterday. easyJet will operate three-four weekly flights between the Israeli and German cities.
easyJet is also due to begin three weekly flights between Tel Aviv and Milan next month and Tel Aviv and London, Gatwick in April. This will bring to 34 the number of weekly flights operated by easyJet from Ben Gurion Airport to Western European destinations: Luton (11), Gatwick (3) and Manchester (2) in the UK; Basel (4) and Geneva (5) Switzerland; Berlin (4) Germany: and Milan (3), and Rome (2) Italy.
easyJet said that it has now flown more than one million passengers to and from Israel since it first started operations in 2009 and that it has become Israel’s fastest growing airline with planned growth of more than 50% in 2014 compared with 2013. It flew 342,000 passengers to and from Israel over the past 12 months and plans flying 540,000 passengers in the coming year.
However, easyJet's expansion of its Israel operation in the wake of the Open Skies agreement signed last year were dealt a setback last month when Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris rejected the carrier's Tel Aviv-Paris flight application due to lack of available slots.
easyJet UK Commercial Manager Hugh Aitken said, "Our expansion has meant that Tel Aviv is now better connected to key European cities and able to take advantage of easyJet’s famous low fares and friendly service."
He added, “We will be flying more than half a million passengers into and out of Israel this year which will benefit Israel’s tourist industry as when easyJet flies into a market in can often widen the appeal of a destination. Recent research we undertook with passengers on the route revealed a new, younger generation of passengers travelling to Tel Aviv for their holidays."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 5, 2014
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