Airline Startup Of The Week: Germany’s Tel Aviv Air

One would imagine an airline named Tel Aviv Air would be based in, well, Israel. However, that is not the case for a new startup named after the Mediterranean coastal metropolis. Based out of Hamburg Airport, Tel Aviv Air intends to launch flights to its namesake destination and Ben Gurion Airport on September 19th, 2021.

Tel Aviv Air
Startup hopeful Tel Aviv Air will commence service between Hamburg and Ben Gurion with a Boeing 737-800 mid-September. Photo: Getty Images

A one-plane, one-route operation

Service will commence with a Boeing 737-800, reportedly leased from Polish charter specialist Enter Air, which has a fleet of 25 aircraft, including two 737 MAX 8s. The plane, which has 189 seats, will feature 14 premium economy seats, with the middle seat left vacant. The remainder of the cabin will be a standard economy configuration.

The airline says on its sparse website that tickets for the twice-weekly service were meant to go on sale by mid-July. No price point has yet been made public. However, as reported by One Mile At A Time, the new carrier has set a pretty hefty target to reach sales of nine million Euro for its first financial year. Either there are plans to up the frequency fairly quickly, or those tickets will go for some pretty jacked-up prices.

The route, which will take about four and a half hours one-way, currently has no non-stop competition, although El Al, Israir, and easyJet normally all fly from Berlin.

The airline will lease its first aircraft from Polish Enter Air. Photo: Mark Harkin via Wikimedia Commons

Long-time industry experience

Tel Aviv Air was started in October 2020. Its founders, Shlomo Almagor and Paul Scodellaro say that the catchment area for the flight includes nearly 12 million people in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, and Bremen.

Around 6,000 people of Jewish faith in Northern Germany are also an important target for friends and family trips. One of Tel Aviv Air’s originators, Mr Almagor, has managed a travel company called Israel Reisen Almagor for the past thirty years.

“We know the country, the route, and our potential customers very well,” Mr Scodellaro, formerly a sales manager at travel agency Germania, said as quoted by European-Aviation.net

The financing for the company is backed by silent investment partner Beteiligungsgesellschaft Hamburg GmbH (BTG). The financing model is secured by Bürgschaftsgemeinschaft Hamburg GmbH (BG), which specializes in startup operations.

Hamburg Airport Tower
Hamburg Airport, which currently has no non-stop connection to Tel Aviv, is looking forward to welcoming the new airline. Photo: Kevin Hackert via Flickr

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Great asset, Hamburg Airport says

Meanwhile, Hamburg Airport is happy to welcome the single-purpose operator to its gates at Terminal One. Dirk Behrens, Head of the Aviation Business Unit at the airport, commented on the forthcoming addition to European aviation,

“We are very pleased to welcome Tel Aviv Air at Hamburg Airport. The flight connection between Hamburg and the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv is a great asset for tourists, business travelers as well as travelers planning a family visit. We wish Tel Aviv Air a good start at Hamburg Airport.”

Simple Flying has reached out to Tel Aviv Air to glean some more information about the upcoming launch but was yet to receive a response at the time of publication. This piece may be updated when a reply is forthcoming.

What do you make of the future of the single-purpose carrier? Is a one-route operation a viable business model? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of Tel Aviv Airlines. 

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