A new direct flight linking Israel and Dublin from next year is set to connect two of the world’s leading tech hubs, just months after Irish politicians voted to ban goods from West Bank settlements.
The new Tel Aviv-Dublin route will be launched by El Al, Israel’s national flag carrier, from 26 May 2020 and tickets will go on sale from next week, connecting the two countries’ vibrant technology sectors.
Several of the world’s biggest American tech and pharmaceutical giants, such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Intel and Pfizer, are either headquartered or have major bases in Ireland for tax reasons, and many of these same companies have research and development centres in Israel.
Currently there are no direct flights between Dublin and Tel Aviv, so El Al has only been able to offer connecting flights through its code share agreements with other airlines, meaning a stop-off in places like London or Zurich and a combined flying time of more than seven hours between Ireland’s and Israel’s biggest cities.
El Al, which is also launching a new direct Tel Aviv-Dusseldorf route from 1 June, will run the Dublin flights on Sundays, Tuesday and Thursdays, as part of a new focus on Western Europe.
In May, El Al restarted its Manchester-Tel Aviv route, with flights on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from the UK, and Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from Israel. It has also launched routes to Nice, Lisbon, Las Vegas and San Francisco in the last 12 months, and plans to begin flights to Chicago in March.
News of the new Israel-Ireland route will be cheered by Ireland’s small pro-Israel following, particularly after the Irish Senate voted in December to pass the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018.
This made the Emerald Isle the first country in the world to legislate to ban settlement products, but the Bill is now being challenged in the courts by pro-Israel legal groups, such as the US-based Lawfare Project.