Israel’s national carrier, El Al, has released details of its first non-stop flights to Melbourne.
Commencing April next year, the direct service is part of a test the airline is conducting on ultra-long-haul operations and will involve three return flights between Melbourne (MEL) and Tel Aviv (TLV).
The flights will be operated by the airline’s new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, with business, premium economy and economy services available.
Still subject to regulatory approval, the flights will take approximately 16 hours and 45 minutes eastwards and an hour longer westwards, El Al said.
The first service, LY0087, will depart TLV at 11.15am on 2 April and arrive in MEL at 11.30am the following day.
The return leg, LY0088, will depart MEL on 4 April at 11.15pm and touch down in TLV 9am the next morning.
The second and third services will operate on 23/25 April and 14/16 May respectively to similar schedules.
Economy class fares are available from AU$1,766 (including taxes), premium fares from $3,997 and business fares from $7,809.
“Direct flights are game changers in bilateral relationships,” Ambassador of Israel to Australia Mark Sofer wrote on Twitter.
“They greatly enhance trade and tourism and, in general, bring peoples closer to one another. Here’s hoping that the project ‘takes off.”
Australian Ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan told The Jerusalem Post the flights are a “great opportunity for more Australians and Israelis to explore each other’s beautiful countries”.
“Direct flights would also be a game changer for increasing our trade, investment and innovation links,” he said.
Along with its Melbourne service, El Al plans to launch new flights to Tokyo, Chicago, Dublin and Dusseldorf in 2020.
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