Virgin Atlantic has announced plans to return to Tel Aviv, alongside several new codeshare partnerships.

The carrier launched its Heathrow-Tel Aviv service in 2019, but the route has had a chequered history, with flights being temporarily suspended in 2020 following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and again on 11 October last year due to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

A daily service will resume on 5 September, operated by Virgin’s A330 aircraft.
The airline has also announced a new codeshare agreement with Israeli carrier EL AL, with Virgin placing its code on EL AL’s flights between Tel Aviv and Heathrow from 10 June, and EL AL doing likewise on Virgin’s flights when they resume later this year.

Meanwhile Virgin has also launched a new codeshare with Saudia, with the first phase now live and allowing Virgin Atlantic customers travelling on flights from the US to purchase onward connections through Heathrow and Manchester onto Jeddah and Riyadh.

Finally Virgin says it is working with SAS – which will join SkyTeam in September – “towards new commercial partnerships with the best access to and from Scandinavian key hubs”.

The carrier said that “This collaboration will offer new destinations, enhanced connectivity, and a more seamless, elevated customer journey for all travellers in the very near future”.

Commenting on the news Juha Jarvinen, chief commercial officer, Virgin Atlantic, said:

As we celebrate our 40th anniversary this month, we know that giving our customers more choice and award-winning service in the skies is what fuels our success, alongside working with the best partners.

“We’re delighted to launch codeshares with our SkyTeam partners at SAS and Saudia today, enhancing our connectivity and offering greater customer benefits to our frequent flyers, who will be able to achieve rewards faster.

“Our return to Tel Aviv on 5 September will be welcome news for customers who have enjoyed our service since 2019, and this time round it’ll be strengthened by our new codeshare partnership with EL AL.”

To read our recent interview with Virgin Atlantic’s CEO Shai Weiss, in which he discusses new services as well as wider topics such as sustainable aviation fuel and gender equality in the aviation industry, see:

Interview with Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic