El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) today announced that it will begin operating Tel Aviv - Tokyo flights. The thrice weekly flights will begin from March 2020.
These will be the first direct scheduled flights between Israel and Japan, although El Al's seasonal and chartered services unit Sun D'Or, will begin operating charter services for the Fly East travel company starting in September. At present, Israelis flying to Japan must take connection flights.
Flight time between Tel Aviv and Tokyo's Narita airport will be 11 hours and 15 minutes with the return journey taking 12 hours 30 minutes.
Demand among Israelis for Japan as both a vacation and business destination has grown in recent years. 40,000 Israelis visited Japan in 2018, while 20,000 Japanese came to Israel. The numbers of Israelis visiting Japan is likely to increase significantly next year with Tokyo hosting the Olympic games.
Over the past year, El Al has been adding long-haul flights, especially to the US, with its newly acquired fleet of Dreamliners. A new route to San Francisco has been inaugurated and routes to Orlando, Las Vegas and Chicago will begin in the coming months.
El Al will earn a €750,000 grant from Israel's Ministry of Tourism when it inaugurates its Tel Aviv - Tokyo flights, under the plan to reward airlines for starting direct routes between Israel and cities not previously served by any airline.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 29, 2019
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