British budget airline Monarch Airlines has started weekly scheduled flights to and from London Luton Airport to Tel Aviv and Eilat for the first time.
The airline’s new routes connect Luton to Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and Ovda in the south, which is 45 minutes’ drive from the resort of Eilat. The airline will fly from London Luton Airport to Tel Aviv on Sunday, Monday and Thursday while Thursday also sees flights to Ovda.
The flights are operated on Airbus A321 planes with 214 seats. The flights will leave Tel Aviv at 5:20pm and depart from London at 9:10am. The flight from Eilat to London will leave at 6:05pm, and the flight from London to Eilat will leave at 9:45am.
Monarch’s entry into the market gives more choice to those who want to fly between the UK and Israel. The increased competition is also expected to have a healthy effect on prices. Monarch’s launch is a further boon to the Israeli tourism industry, following huge investment in Eilat.
“This is a great indication that Israel has the support of major carriers,” said Yariv Levin, Israel’s Minister of Tourism. “It will allow for even greater choice and accessibility for travellers.” He added that the agreement with Monarch was made possible only after Israel signed the controversial Open Skies Agreement in 2013.