Tel-Aviv-Melbourne flight to be tested

27 Nov 2019

Israel airline El Al will be testing non-stop flights from Tel Aviv to Melbourne in the second quarter of 2020. 

Tickets will be on sale for the trial test flight from Tel Aviv-Melbourne. Before making it official, the flight needs to be tested in order as it will be longer than any other flights that El Al operates, lasting up to 18 hours. The airline also has to consider whether passengers would be able to tolerate a flight that long and look at the economic viability of the service. The Dreamliner aircraft will be used for the trials. 

Sydney was Australia’s busiest airport in September this year, welcoming 2.29 million passengers, whilst Melbourne had 2.18 million passenger movements. Brisbane had a total of 1.52 million passengers. Australia reported 2.14 million domestic passenger movements in September – 2.3% more than September last year. 

El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin said, “We will only be able to see whether the trial will lead to us opening the route on the basis of performance. We're talking about a very long flight, and we'll have to examine various aspects of it, including fuel consumption, and the behaviour and physical health of passengers and crew.”

The flight would continue to boost Australia’s tourism industry, bringing in more tourists to the country. However, the airline CEO explained that it is up to the passengers to decide whether the flight will be made official or not. “It will be the passengers who decide whether they're happy to fly eighteen hours and pay the cost. That is what will determine whether we continue. It's an expensive flight from an operational point of view. If the consumer sees added value in it and agrees to pay the premium, which I don't believe will be excessively high, and particularly if he or she agrees to sit on a flight for eighteen hours, we'll be able to decide whether to operate the route." 

Furthermore, El Al is planning to add more flight routes in 2020, specifically to Chicago, Dublin, Dusseldorf and Tokyo.