El Al's Sun D'Or unveils new summer destinations


New destinations are Nice, Lisbon, Ibiza, Stuttgart, and Tiblisi.

Sun D'Or is unveiling its flight schedule for the summer of 2016 with new branding, including a baby chick in its advertising and a new red logo. The company's summer destinations include several new ones, among them two weekly flights in July-August to the Spanish island of Ibiza (from $650), a weekly flight to Tbilisi, Georgia (from $300), two weekly flights to Stuttgart, Germany (from $400), two weekly flights to Nice, France (from $360), and four weekly flights to Lisbon (from $490).

Sun D'Or's flights are on the charter format, and prices include accompanying services, such as baggage and refreshments. The scheduled flights do not operate on weekends. Sun D'Or is owned by El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL). 70% of its activity is as a wholesaler for tourism providers, and the rest is direct sales to consumers.

"The aim is to tighten the brand name as a chain of El Al routes to vacation destinations operating regularly but seasonally, such as to Naples and Nice, which are also being continued this year," Sun D'Or CEO Michael Strassburger told "Globes." "We found a niche very suitable for El Al's customers, and decided to take it a few steps further by adding a series of destinations, such as Tbilisi and Stuttgart."

Sun D'Or is also considering operating the route to Lisbon which at peak times includes four weekly flights, all year round, and using it to bring tourists to Israel from Portugal and Brazil.

"We have reached a range of 50 destinations, 15 more than El Al," said Strassburger, who does not consider low cost airline UP a direct competitor of Sun D'Or.

Commenting on the trend in prices this year, Strassburger said, "Last year, we saw a substantial fall in prices, compared with the preceding year, and that trend continued this year, but moderated. In other words, prices can only go down so much. No one flies at a loss."

Of Sun D'Or's 50 destinations 2015, 30 were in Africa. The company flew 2,288 flight segments, constituting a 34% rise in activity, compared with the preceding year, and a 37% increase in the number of passengers. The company's air fleet contains two airplanes, plus a third for the summer. El Al frequent flyers who buy Sun D'Or flights accumulate points, and the company is working on a mechanism that will facilitate the purchase of Sun D'Or tickets with points.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 17, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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