Thrills but no frills as Ryanair eyes Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, April 19, 2012

As travellers welcomed this week's news that easyJet plans to extend its budget service to flights between Israel and Manchester, there were signs that a third low cost airline would be landing at Ben-Gurion in the near future.

Ha'aretz's financial supplement reported this week that a senior executive from Ryanair had visited Israel just before Pesach for a meeting with the director-general of the Israel Civil Aviation Authority.

A Ryanair spokeswoman said it was the company's policy not to comment on speculation.

But if the Irish airline does decide to launch a service to Israel, it would become the third carrier to offer no-frills flights from this country and could set off a price war that would ease the cost for British travellers.

EasyJet's announcement this week that it was launching a new route between Manchester and Tel Aviv to add to its successful Luton-Ben Gurion flights has sparked a response from the north of England-based airline Jet2. It said this week that it was determined to maintain a service between Manchester and Israel.

EasyJet is offering flights between the two at a starting cost of £82.99 for a one-way ticket. From November, the carrier will offer year-round flights to Ben-Gurion from the northern hub airport.

Both easyJet and Jet2 launched their services to Israel in 2009.

Last updated: 3:46pm, April 19 2012