Air Canada will significantly expand its services between Canada and Israel this year, with the introduction of a seasonal non-stop service between Montreal and Tel Aviv and an increase in its current Toronto - Tel Aviv non-stop service to a daily frequency year-round. The new services beginning this summer will deliver a 28 per cent capacity increase over summer 2016 and reflects deepening Canada - Israel cultural and business ties.
"Air Canada is the leader in the Canada - Israel market, which we have now served for 22 years. Today we are pleased to step up our capacity in response to the increased demand in business, leisure and cultural travel between both countries,” said Calin Rovinescu, president and chief executive officer, Air Canada.
The new Montreal – Tel Aviv route will operate twice weekly from June 22, 2017 to October 16, 2017 and flown with a 292-seat Airbus A330-300. It is part of Air Canada’s strategy to strengthen its hub at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and follows last month’s announcement by leisure carrier Air Transat of its own plans to serve the Montreal – Tel Aviv market.
“As of June 2017, Air Canada will be strengthening our hub in Montreal, which will also offer convenient connections throughout Canada and the US," said Rovinescu."This new service also reflects Air Canada's ongoing international expansion strategy, from which Montreal is deriving significant benefits.”
This month Air Canada will launch new service to Shanghai from the city and for summer it has already announced new routes to Algiers, Marseille, Reykjavík and Dallas from Montreal.
“This important investment demonstrates the vitality of our city and Montreal's relevance as a North American aviation hub,” said Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal. “This new air link by Air Canada will facilitate travel and trade between our two cities and countries. Coming only a few months after Montreal's trade mission to Israel, this new route is a concrete example of the strength of the economic, family and community ties that unite us.”
Air Canada and El Al Israel Airlines currently provide the only non-stop links from Canada to Israel with flights from Toronto to Tel Aviv and both operators are growing their activities in 2017. According to published inventories, Air Canada will boost its seat count on the route by 13.1 per cent in 2017, while El Al will increase frequencies by 8.3 per cent, albeit slightly reducing capacity through the deployment exclusively of Boeing 767-300ERs rather than utilising larger 777s.
Air Transat will actually be the first Canadian carrier to launch flights to Israel from Montreal by a matter of days when the leisure carrier inaugurates a new summer seasonal service this year in association with its tour operator parent Transat AT. The twice weekly link between Montréal Trudeau and Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv will operate from June 18, 2017 until late October 2017 and will be flown using an Airbus A330-300 with seating for 345 passengers.
Together the Air Canada and Air Transat flights will appeal to the sizeable visiting friends and family market between the two countries, while Transat will also be offering an array of packages, guided tours and hotels for discovering Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as well as the region's many tourist attractions to stimulate further demand.
In the last year an estimated 240,000 bi-directional O&D passengers flew between Canada and Israel, approximately 325 PPDEW (Passengers Per-Day Each-Way). This is dominated by the direct Toronto – Tel Aviv operations which account for over half of the traffic (135,000 passengers), but there is already sizeable indirect flows from Montreal and Vancouver. The Montreal – Tel Aviv city pair generates around 47,000 annual O&D passengers and has grown 11.3 per cent in the last 12 months. The majority of indirect passengers are currently routing via Toronto (40.5 per cent), with notable flows also via some European hubs – Zurich (17.6 per cent), Paris (12.8 per cent), Brussels (7.1 per cent), Frankfurt (5.8 per cent) and Istanbul (5.2 per cent).