Virgin Atlantic to start Heathrow-Tel Aviv route in September
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Virgin Atlantic to start Heathrow-Tel Aviv route in September

Tickets for flights to go on sale on 25 February, as airline plans to use Airbus A-330s on route

Joe Millis is a journalist

A Virgin Atlantic A330 leaving grey and wet London for sunnier climes
A Virgin Atlantic A330 leaving grey and wet London for sunnier climes

Virgin Atlantic has announced it will fly between London Heathrow and Ben Gurion airport, starting 25 September 2019, with tickets going on sale on 25 February.

The daily flights will operate on an Airbus A330-300, and will offer more than 180,000 seats each year in all classes.

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic chief executive, said: “This year marks the start of a new phase of growth for Virgin Atlantic as we work to achieve our ambition to become the most loved travel company.

“Tel Aviv represents a fantastic opportunity for us – Israel’s economy is booming and as one of the world’s leading tech hubs we’re anticipating many business travellers and entrepreneurs flying between Tel Aviv and the UK.

“We also see a significant opportunity to increase competition in the US – Tel Aviv market, using the strength of our trans-Atlantic Joint Venture with Delta to offer customers from Tel Aviv a wide range of US destinations connecting through London Heathrow including New York and San Francisco.

“I’m also thrilled to introduce this new destination to our leisure customers and I know it’s somewhere they’ll love to visit. Renowned for its cultural sites and with UNESCO recognised architecture, Tel Aviv also boasts beautiful beaches, a buzzing artistic and nightlife scene, incredible food and is a great base to explore the tourist destinations of the region including the iconic historical city of Jerusalem, Nazareth, and the Dead Sea”.

Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin added: “The entry of one of the world’s leading airlines into Israel is another expression of confidence in the [country’s] tourism product. The revolution that we have implemented in the Ministry of Tourism in recent years is bearing fruit with record-breaking numbers of incoming tourism to Israel.

“The new flights will be integrated with the marketing campaign in Europe, which highlights Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I am convinced that, with the entry of Virgin Atlantic into Israel, we will see continued growth in incoming tourism from the UK.”

Sharon Bershadsky, the director of the Israel Government Tourist Office for the UK and Ireland, noted: “We’re thrilled with the launch of the new flights and Virgin Atlantic’s confidence in the Israeli product.

“The ‘Two Sunny Cities, One Break’ campaign has been very successful in showcasing Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and we’re proud of our continued commitment to working with the travel trade industry.”

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