LATAM launching direct Latin America-Israel flights

LATAM photo: Paulo Whitaker, Reuters

The new route will connect Santiago and Sao Paulo with Tel Aviv.

Latin American airline LATAM Airlines will operate direct flights to Israel from Brazil starting in December. The company will renew activity on this route after El Al closed down its activity on it years ago.

LATAM will become the only airline operating a direct route between Latin America and Israel. The new route will connect Santiago and Sao Paolo to Tel Aviv. The airline will receive grants amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, which regards Brazil as a potential market for tourism to Israel. Tourist entries from Brazil rose 90.66% in January-February 2018, compared with the corresponding period in 2016, and 9.33%, compared with the corresponding period in 2017.

Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin said, “Opening the direct route from Brazil to Israel in the framework of cooperation between the Ministry of Tourism and LATAM Airlines is a significant achievement and a direct continuation of the policy I introduced for opening new markets for tourism to Israel. I am convinced that the new route, which will create a direct connection between Israel and Latin America for the first time in many years, will give a substantial boost to the boom in tourism traffic from this region to Israel. In addition, the new route will shorten the trip for thousands of Israelis traveling to Latin America, and substantially reduce the cost of going there.”

LATAM Airlines Brasil CEO Jerome Cadier said, “No other airline connects Latin America to the world with so many flights and destinations. The new route to Tel Aviv will also make us the sole airline flying directly to Israel from the region. This is a special service for passengers from Latin America. Tourists from Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, for example, will now be able to reach Israel easily through the new route,”

LATAM is part of the Oneworld alliance, which includes British Airways and has a hub in Sao Paolo. Starting December 12, there will be weekly flights from Santiago to Tel Aviv via Sao Paolo on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Flights will leave Israel for Sao Paolo, and from there to Santiago, on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. LATAM said that the flight time from Brazil to Israel would be 11 hours and five minutes.

The Ministry of Tourism notes that LATAM has created a network of connecting flights that will feed this flight to Israel from other countries, such as Argentina, thereby providing a major boost to potential tourism traffic from Latin America.

LATAM was founded in 2012 from a merger between two veteran Latin American airlines: Chilean airline LAN, founded in 1929, and Brazilian airline TAM, founded in 1976. The company operates many flights from Latin America to destinations in North America, Europe, Australia, East Asia, and South Africa.

An incoming tourism survey conducted by the Ministry of Tourism in mid-2017 shows that Brazilian tourists visiting Israel spend an average of 10 nights in the country and spend an average of $1,918 during their visit. The survey also shows that 63.9% of Brazilian tourists visiting Israel describe themselves as Christian, and 35.7% say that their visit was for pilgrimage purposes.

25.9% of tourists from Brazil are in the 45-54 age bracket, followed by 18.5% in the 25-34 age bracket. The most popular places among Brazilian tourists are Jerusalem (82.6%), Tel Aviv (76.6%), and the Dead Sea (58.9%).

44,000 tourists from Brazil visited Israel in 2015, 34,100 in 2016, and 54,800 in 2017.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 8, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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LATAM photo: Paulo Whitaker, Reuters
LATAM photo: Paulo Whitaker, Reuters
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