El Al plan Luton-Tel Aviv flights

EL AL is launching a daily flight from Luton to Tel Aviv. The service will start from May, the JC has learned.

Uri Danor, CEO, UK, acknowledged that the additional six-times-a-week service will suit travelers who live in north London and have access to train service First Capital Connect, which runs directly from the City to Luton Airport Parkway station.

He said: “Luton will be much more convenient for these people. It’s easier than getting to Stansted We think it will be very well-received.” EL AL will no longer be flying from London Stansted once the Luton service starts.

Mr Danor acknowledged that it was a difficult time for the industry, with increasing competition from other airlines - BMI is now flying from Heathrow to Tel Aviv and easyJet are rumoured to be launching a direct service.

Bmi has also announced a second daily service between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv, following high demand for the first daily service which launched last March.

It is offering 14 flights a week; two every day, all departing from Terminal One, which is a boon as crowds have diminished massively since BA left for Terminal Five. Business-class travellers are also promised a fast-track check-in, guaranteeing passengers they will be in their seats within 30 minutes.

And the airline has the earliest return flight on Fridays from Tel Aviv, so all orthodox travellers should return well before Shabbat.

Managing Director Peter Spencer, said: "We are 100 per cent committed to our Tel Aviv route. From May, we shall operate the route from London on an A330 aircraft which boasts a leading business class product. With eight flights a day between London and Manchester, offering convenient connections with the morning and evening flights, we are confident that we offer a flexible service to Tel Aviv on an exceptional product at competitive prices."

Last updated: 10:23am, March 27 2009