Virgin Atlantic is to more than triple the number of flights on its Heathrow-Tel Aviv route this summer, following the UK government’s decision to place Israel on the low-risk “green list” for international flights into England.
The Times of Israel reports that the carrier will move from the current four flights per week to daily from June 14, and then double daily “over the summer”.
The report quotes Virgin’s Israel manager Nicholas Bettles as saying that bookings from Israel on Virgin Atlantic flights has “soared” on Saturday following the green list announcement last week, with the Tel Aviv-Heathrow route becoming the third most booked across the carrier’s network.
Israel is to welcome vaccinated tourists travelling in organised tour groups from 14 countries starting from May 23, namely the UK, US, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Iceland, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Arrivals will be required to take a PCR test before departing for the country, as well as further tests on arrival.
The Times of Israel quotes Virgin Atlantic’s CEO Shai Weiss as saying:
“Virgin Atlantic remains committed to the Israeli market and will soon offer twice daily flights between Ben Gurion Airport and Heathrow Airport, alongside seamless connections to key US cities such as New York and Los Angeles, via London.
“We welcome the news that the UK Government has placed Israel on its ‘Green’ list recognizing the excellent vaccination progress in both countries,” said Weiss, adding that the decision “paves the way for a travel corridor between the UK and Israel.”
Virgin launched flights to Tel Aviv in September 2019, before suspending them for several months in March 2020 following the onset of Covid-19.