EasyJet to add weekly discount flights to England

Discount airliner will offer more flights from Tel Aviv to London and Manchester starting November 1.

EasyJet plane 370 (photo credit: Globes)
EasyJet plane 370
(photo credit: Globes)
EasyJet will add two weekly flights between Tel Aviv and London’s Luton airport beginning November 1, in addition to the seven weekly flights the low-cost airline already operates on the route. The airline will also run two weekly flights from Tel Aviv to Manchester beginning November 1.
EasyJet said the rates for the Manchester route will begin at $50 per way, and will run on Monday’s and Thursday’s.
The flights between easyJet and Luton began in 2009 and have been a success for the company, as have the four weekly flights between Tel Aviv and Geneva and Basel.
Speaking at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Thursday, UK Commercial Manager for easyJet Hugh Aitken said the company is looking to promote Israel in much the same way that it does Iceland, as a “different type of destination” for European travelers. He added that such efforts require familiarizing European tourists with Israel, who may not understand that their “perception is different than the reality” when it comes to Israel.
Aitken said the company is looking to expand its operations in Israel over the coming years, but faces higher operating costs, and to some extent, problems selling Israel as a travel destination for European tourists. According to Aitken, the company faces higher operating costs at Ben- Gurion International Airport as well as a requirement that passengers check in at terminal 1 and fly out of terminal 3, which he said complicates business.
He added that company can’t currently fly to Eilat due to what he said was the insufficient infrastructure of the Eilat airport. The low-cost airline already runs 26 weekly flights from across Europe to the beach resort of Sharm al- Sheikh in the Sinai Peninsula – a route that they said has not lost popularity since the Egyptian Revolution began in January of last year.
Opening up the Israel market to easyJet and other low-cost operators will require the full implementation of the “open skies” agreement.
Following eight rounds of negotiations beginning in 2008, Israel and the European Union finalized their negotiations on open skies earlier this month, which will create a “common aviation zone” between Israel and the EU, opening up more travel opportunities, and most likely bringing down travel prices for Israeli consumers.