El Al has announced its intentions to enter the world of super long haul flights. Utilising the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the airline is planning to test 16-hour 45-minute non-stop flights to Melbourne from Tel Aviv.
There has been a fair bit of news within the ultra-long-haul flight sphere within the past year or so. Just over a year ago, in October 2018, Singapore Airlines launched the world’s longest regular passenger flight between Singapore and Newark.
More recently, this year we have seen a huge emphasis on Qantas’ Project Sunrise ambitions to connect Sydney with London non-stop. However, now El Al is keen to get a piece of the pie.
According to GCMaps.com, the great circle distance between Tel Aviv and Melbourne is 8,535 miles. This is the shortest distance between the two points, however, aircraft often don’t fly in exactly a straight line from A to B. El Al estimates that these flights will take around 16 hours and 45 minutes.
The airline said in a Hebrew language Facebook post:
We are excited to announce: in a few months, el al will begin on experiment flights to Melbourne, which will be held at Boeing 787 🇦🇺
Following in Qantas’ footsteps
Qantas has been using the Boeing 787 to prove whether ultra-long-haul flights from London and New York to Sydney are feasible. As part of its Project Sunrise trials, it operated the world’s longest non-stop twin-engine passenger flight from London to Syndey earlier this month.
It seems as though El Al has drawn inspiration from Qantas. The Israeli flag carrier is set to use the Boeing 787 to test non-stop flights to the Southern Australian city of Melbourne, according to the Hebrew language news website Ynet. Of course, the trial flights are still subject to approval from the relevant authorities.
El Al’s Boeing 787s
El Al recently retired its last Boeing 747 aircraft as it introduces a number of Boeing 787 aircraft to its fleet. In fact, within the next couple of days, the carrier is expected to receive its first of the smaller Boeing 787-8. This aircraft will complement its growing fleet of the Boeing 787-9.
According to SeatGuru, El Al’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft have three classes of travel. This consists of 32 flatbed Business First seats in a 1-2-1 layout. There are also 28 Premium Economy seats with a pitch of 38 inches each in a 2-3-2 configuration. Finally, towards the rear of the aircraft, there are 222 standard economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration. These economy seats have a pitch of 30-31 inches.
Speaking of the aircraft, El Al’s CEO Gonen Ussishkin told Ynet,
“The company absorbed 12 new 787-9 aircraft, and by the end of the first quarter of 2020, the arrival of four additional 787-8 Dreamliner planes would be completed”.
Meanwhile, the airline’s CFO Deganit Feletti added: “The company recorded a decrease in fuel expenses in the reported quarter, as a result of a decline in market prices and a decrease in the amount of fuel consumed by the company’s aircraft, despite the 8% increase in activity, mainly due to operating the Boeing 787-9”
Would you like to ride on one of the test flights between Tel Aviv and Australia? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!