Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air has announced that it will operate four weekly flights on a new Tel Aviv-London route starting on June 24. The flights will land at Luton Airport.
Wizz Air also announced two more new routes to Tel Aviv: one from Debrecen, Hungary, starting in March, and one from Varna, Bulgaria, starting in July.
Flights to London will begin at NIS 620 for a roundtrip ticket. Prices at peak season in late August will begin at NIS 1,200 ($300) for a roundtrip ticket. Additional costs include NIS 217 per passenger for a 23-kilogram suitcase and NIS 20-40 for choice of seat.
Another player is joining the competition on the London route during the Passover holiday - Arkia Airlines Ltd., which will begin three weekly flights to Stansted Airport in London. The flights will be discontinued after the holiday, and then renewed from late May until the Jewish High Holy Days. Ticket prices will start at $570.
Wizz Air and Arkia are joining low-cost airlines easyJet and Monarch. easyJet operates flights from Tel Aviv to Gatwick and Luton Airports, while Monarch operates flights to Heathrow Airport in London (the high airport fees at Heathrow usually keep low cost airlines away). El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) and British Airways also fly to London.
Wizz Air's new route will obviously benefit Israeli passengers, but the Ministry of Tourism, which is trying to increase the number of routes and companies flying to Israel, expects tourists from Europe to fly with the company to Israel at reduced prices. The Ministry of Tourism's City Break campaign emphasizes vacations in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin welcomed Wizz Air's announcement of its new route between London and Tel Aviv. "The opening of a new route is further proof that the Ministry of Tourism's marketing efforts are successful. As a result, many companies regard Israel as a desirable tourist destination," Levin commented.
Wizz Air communications manager Sorina Ratz said, "Today's announcement highlights our commitment to Israel, and we hope that our customers will like the new route we're launching on the London-Tel Aviv line with its low fare. With four weekly flights, the new and comfortable route will boost tourism and business between the two countries. All customers are invited to order tickets on the new route at NIS 309 in each direction."
Wizz Air will use Airbus A320 and A321 planes with 180 and 230 seats, respectively, on its new route.
Wizz Air first began flying to Israel in 2012 with a Budapest-Tel Aviv route. The company now has 14 routes at reduced prices from eight European countries to Tel Aviv and Eilat. 1.2 passengers have flown to or from Tel Aviv with the company over the past five years.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on February 16, 2017
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