Israeli airline El Al will offer nonstop flights from Tel Aviv to Manchester three times a week from May 2019.
The route is scheduled to launch on May 26, 2019 and will operate on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from the UK, and Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from Tel Aviv.
The flights – numbered LY302 and LY301 – will be served by Boeing B737-800 aircraft configured with business and economy seating.
An introductory fare is running for bookings made by November 26, with flights from £199 one way and £289 return in economy (both hand baggage only) and £929 return in business.
Wifi will be available to buy on board and a full meal service is offered.
El Al launched direct flights to Nice and Lisbon earlier this year and will also operate a San Francisco route from May 2019.
Michael Strassburger, El Al’s Vice President for Commercial and Industry Affairs, said:
“El Al will significantly expand its roster of destinations in Europe in 2019. After announcing direct flights to Lisbon and Nice and the introduction of our new fare model that enables customers to choose how they want to fly and how much they want to pay, we are delighted to announce another new route.
“We’re extremely proud and excited to announce this much anticipated service to Manchester,” he told Business Traveller at the World Travel Market in London.
“We’ve wanted to run this for many years now and connect to the Jewish community in Manchester – not just them, but everyone who wants to enjoy and experience Israel.”
The route was previously in operation but stopped during the Second Intifada, with Strassburger saying there had been “many excuses” delaying the route’s reintroduction over the years.
Strassburger said El Al was currently focused on aircraft replacement across its whole fleet, with 16 Dreamliners on order.
“The airline has never been in such a place as we expect to be a year from now with our fleet,” he said at the World Travel Mart today.
He said the airline is focused on expansion in North America and West Europe.
Israel’s Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin said: “We are delighted that El Al will be opening up a flight path from Manchester to Tel Aviv. With more carriers flying to Israel it is clear that there is an ever-increasing demand to visit our country, and we look forward to showing everything we have to offer to visitors in 2019.”
The UK is currently connected to Tel Aviv via nonstop flights from London with Easyjet, Wizz Air and British Airways. Easyjet also offers twice-weekly Tel Aviv-Manchester flights.
El Al received its first Dreamliner last year and in October began offering a Premium class service on the B787 between Tel Aviv and Heathrow.
The airline was founded in 1948 and flies to 36 destinations, with the most direct flights to and from Israel.
Manchester Airport, the largest airport outside London, is undergoing a £1bn upgrade which will expand Terminal 2 by 150 per cent.
Julian Carr, Aviation Director at Manchester Airport, said: “We are delighted to welcome El Al to Manchester Airport with flights to Tel Aviv.
“The carrier will offer the 22 million passengers in our vast catchment area more choice and accessibility to this part of the world.
“I am sure it will prove hugely popular and look forward to flights commencing next year.”