UK low-fare carrier easyJet has announced plans to add a fifth connection to Tel Aviv to its network as it continues to expand its network outside of Europe. The airline will introduce a twice weekly service to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport from Rome Fiumicino from September 24, 2013 adding to its existing links to the Israeli city from London Luton and Manchester in the UK and Geneva and Basel in Switzerland.
The details of the expansion followed just days after The HUB revealed that alongside a long-running project to join the dots on its network and introduce new direct air services between existing markets, easyJet is now looking at new destination opportunities outside of its traditional European roots. easyJet was the first low-fare airline to enter the Israeli market in November 2009 and says since then demand has “continuously grown”. The new flight will connect two attractive destinations for business and leisure and the carrier expects to generate a good mix of premium and holiday traffic.
“easyJet is a long term committed partner of the Israeli economy and tourism industry. As part of this great partnership, we are delighted to make Europe more accessible to Israeli business and leisure passengers with a fifth direct flight to Tel Aviv.”Hugh Aitken
UK Commercial Manager, easyJet
"easyJet is a long term committed partner of the Israeli economy and tourism industry. As part of this great partnership, we are delighted to make Europe more accessible to Israeli business and leisure passengers with a fifth direct flight to Tel Aviv,” said Hugh Aitken, UK Commercial Manager, easyJet. “We are confident that this new route will become as popular as the other flights we successfully operate to and from Israel.”
The UK carrier made its debut in Israel in November 2009 when it first introduced flights from its headquarters at London Luton in direct competition with Israeli flag carrier El Al. In March 2012 it introduced a second route to the Israeli city from Basel and the following month flights started from Geneva. A fourth route to Tel Aviv was added from Manchester in November 2012 to support the very strong cultural link between the North West of England and Tel Aviv, with a large Jewish community in Manchester and the surrounding areas.
This new service will see easyJet enter a route already served by Alitalia El Al and Israir – up until the early 2010s the market was also served by Eurofly (March 2009 – February 2010) and then Meridianafly (March 2010 – October 2011). In 2012 an estimated 265,000 bi-directional O&D passengers travelled between Rome Fiumicino and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion, up 2.5 per cent on the previous year. Following the departure of Meridianafly from the market El Al was the biggest recipient with its share of demand rising from 40 per cent to 45 per cent, while average air fares grew 2.7 per cent in 2012 versus the previous year.
Tel Aviv is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Middle East, and is rapidly gaining an international reputation for its 24-hour culture. A coastal city, Tel Aviv enjoys beautiful beaches complemented by a vivid and exciting city life. Nearby to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the city also provides an ideal base for spiritual travellers seeking to explore this ancient and historic area of the world. At the end of this year and following the introduction of the new Rome service, easyJet would have operated just under 5,000 bi-directional flights in and out of Tel Aviv, introducing over 890,000 seats to the market.