The Wizz Air flights from London to Eilat replace a route serviced by Britain’s low-cost Monarch Airlines, which abruptly went bankrupt in October..
(photo credit: COURTESY OF WIZZ AIR)
The low-cost Polish airline Wizz Air will now be servicing the Israeli southern resort town of Eilat, with direct flights originating from London in the winter months.
“This is a great vote of confidence in Israeli tourism,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin in a statement. “It’s further proof that the Eilat directive – which we initiated to encourage tourism into the resort – is indeed bearing fruit.”
The airliner will be operating from London’s outlying Luton Airport to Eilat’s Ovda Airport – located about 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of the city.
Flights commence on October 28, 2018, and reservations can be made online with prices beginning from NIS 129 ($35) one way.
Wizz already flies to Eilat from Romania’s Bucharest, Latvia’s Riga and Poland’s Warsaw.
The flights replace a route serviced by Britain’s low-cost Monarch Airlines, which abruptly went bankrupt in October – stranding thousands of passengers.
Monarch had previously run a London-Eilat route from Luton during the winter.
In November, Monarch lost a high-court battle in the UK to trade its runway slots to other carriers in exchange for paying back creditors. That complicated plans to resume direct Eilat flight.
Minister Levin added that new routes from Amsterdam and Zurich to Eilat were in the making – claiming that increased flight capacity was leading to record tourist arrivals.
Wizz Air began operating to Tel Aviv in 2012, and the airliner offers 22 routes to 9 countries to-and-from Israel.
In the first four months of 2018, more than 338,000 passengers flew to-and-from Israel on Wizz Air – double the number last year.
“This is another step to strengthen our presence in the Israeli market,” said Sorina Ratz, a spokeswoman for Wizz Air. “This is a continuation of a process that makes an important contribution to incoming and outgoing tourism and business connections between the two countries.”
Eilat is located at the tip of the Red Sea, and the Israeli resort hub enjoys both VAT-free shopping and some 360 days of sunshine.
Israel is currently constructing a new airport – Eilat’s Ramon Airport – which is located 10km.
north of the city. The airport is expected to be open by the end of 2019. For now, foreign airliners are operating from Ovda.