Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic chief executive, said: “Tel Aviv represents a fantastic opportunity for us – Israel’s economy is booming and as one of the world’s leading tech hubs we’re anticipating many business travellers and entrepreneurs flying between Tel Aviv and the UK”.
Mr Weiss added: “We also see a significant opportunity to increase competition in the US – Tel Aviv market, using the strength of our trans-Atlantic Joint Venture with Delta to offer customers from Tel Aviv a wide range of US destinations connecting through London Heathrow including New York and San Francisco”.
Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said: “The entry of one of the world’s leading airlines into Israel is another expression of confidence in the [country’s] tourism product. The revolution that we have implemented in the Ministry of Tourism in recent years is bearing fruit with record-breaking numbers of incoming tourism to Israel”.
Mr Levin said that he was optimistic for continued growth in British visitors to Israel: “The new flights will be integrated with the marketing campaign in Europe, which highlights Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I am convinced that, with the entry of Virgin Atlantic into Israel, we will see continued growth in incoming tourism from the UK”.
Virgin Atlantic also announced that they planned to conduct a special launch of the route by flying 258 fans to see the Eurovision Song Contest final in May.
2018 was a record-breaking year for the Israeli tourism industry welcoming over four million tourists.