Israel’s El Al is returning to some far-flung destinations such as Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt, as market conditions ease.
What are the six destinations?
El Al has decided to return to six destinations worldwide from its hub airport of Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion (TLV), as reported by Routesonline. These destinations, and when the airline will operate services, are as follows:
- Frankfurt (FRA), Germany, on October 18th, 2020.
- Amsterdam Schipol (AMS), Netherlands, on October 19th, 2020.
- Los Angeles (LAX), United States, on October 25th, 2020.
- Miami (MIA), United States, also on October 25th, 2020.
- Sofia(SOF), Bulgaria, on October 26th, 2020.
- Kyiv (KBP), Ukraine from October 26th, 2020, onwards.
As reported by the source, these six destinations follow a rapid roll-out of routes, including London, Athens in Greece, New York, and Paris. The carrier previously suspended all international flights back in June due to the current crisis. This rollout of destinations is an essential return of services for trapped patriots abroad.
So far, these are the only destinations that the carrier has aimed to return to, with all other destinations canceled until at least November this year.
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What aircraft will it use for the routes?
El Al will be deploying its Boeing 787 fleet for the routes with a three-class configuration. There is a business cabin with 32 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. These are the standard herringbone seats common on the 787 throughout the world, with 78 inches of legroom in lie-flat mode or 43 inches when in seat mode.
Behind the business cabin, there are five rows of premium economy. These have a classic 2-3-2 configuration, which allows couples some privacy to sit together. These 28 seats have 38 inches of legroom.
Lastly, the rest of the plane is configurated in a 3-3-3 economy cabin with a relatively crushing 31 inches of legroom. This is small for an international flight, and other carriers have found 33 or 34 inches provides more comfort (although this is why premium economy exists).
You can see a seat map of the aircraft below.
Can you visit Israel?
Right now, you cannot travel to Israel unless you have a pre-approved visa or are a citizen.
“At the moment, and until further notice, entry to Israel will be refused to non-citizens or non-residents of Israel arriving from anywhere in the world. In exceptional cases, one may apply for approval of the Foreign Ministry subject to proof of the ability to remain in self-isolation for 14 days.” – current border restrictions as reported by the Israeli government Ministry Of Health.
This means for El Al that any travel to the country will be residence only and that it cannot transport any tourists. Hence, these destinations for the airline only include capital cities with a substantial Israeli citizen population (or major transport hubs, typically both). It may be some time before holiday destinations open for the country.
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