National airline El Al will launch three weekly flights from Tel Aviv to Dublin and the western German city of Dusseldorf next year.Tickets to the new European destinations will go on sale from September 4, with flights to Dublin scheduled to commence on May 26 and to Dusseldorf on June 1.The launch of the new destinations coincided with the publication of El Al’s second quarter financial results, which showed increased revenues and a small profit. Direct flights to Dublin are likely to attract significant business interest, with many leading hi-tech companies located their European headquarters in the Irish capital. Dublin Airport is also home to a US Preclearance (USCBP) facility, enabling US-bound passengers to undertake US immigration and customs inspections at the airport.“The announcement of a direct flight between Dublin and Tel Aviv is a game changer for Israeli companies looking to access European markets following Brexit,” said Mattan Lass, managing director of Ireland Israel Business, a Dublin-based consultancy firm dedicated to boosting Irish-Israeli trade.“It is also a huge help for Irish companies that want to benefit from Israel’s unique expertise in tech innovation. Ireland Israel Business has led the tech community’s campaign for a direct flight since 2012. We are delighted to see that our efforts have borne fruit.”
Dusseldorf, an important economic hub, will become El Al’s fourth destination in Germany, in addition to Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich. From June, 36 weekly flights will shuttle passengers between Ben-Gurion Airport and Germany.“We are working to continue expanding the company’s networks of routes,” said El Al vice president of marketing Miki Strassburger. “This is in order to adequately address the evolving demands of our business customers as well as departing Israeli tourists, while at the same time strengthening foreign tourism to Israel.”According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, approximately 262,500 Germans and 11,300 Irish citizens visited Israel last year.
El Al will operate the new routes on its Boeing 737 aircraft, featuring both economy and business classes on-board.On Tuesday, the Israeli carrier started selling tickets for its direct line to Tokyo. The company will commence three weekly flights to the Japanese capital from March 11, 2020.El Al also announced on Wednesday that revenues for the second quarter of 2019 totaled $584 million, a 7% increase compared to the same period in 2018 and boosted by the timing of the Passover holiday.The company posted a net profit of $83,000 during the second quarter, compared to a loss of approximately $18m. in the corresponding period last year. The improved results reflect an increase in revenues and a decrease in operating expenses, primarily declining fuel costs due to the greater efficiency of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet serving long-haul destinations.To date, El Al has received 11 of the 16 Dreamliner aircraft that the company purchased for over $1.25b. The carrier expects to welcome three more aircraft by the end of the year, and the final two aircraft during the first quarter of 2020.