EL AL: on their way to Melbourne
Sydney is shouting ‘Oy Vey’ already.
In a report to the Israeli stock exchange this morning, EL AL (Y Net – Google translate required) has detailed plans by El Al to run test flights between Israel and Australia, with a view to initiating a route Tel Aviv to Melbourne.
As well, the airline has reported a 30% decrease in profit for the last quarter.
EL AL announced plans to launch the pilot flights during the second quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals. The flights will take place on Dreamliner 787. The flight from Israel will take about 16 hours and 45 minutes, while the flight from Australia – 17 hours and 45 minutes. This is the longest flight that Israeli society will make.Y Net / Google Translate
EL AL has recently acquired a bunch (12) of Boeing 787-9 and is likely to use one for the route. Their 787-9’s are configured with 282 seats (32 Business, 28 Premium Economy, and 222 Economy seats.
Ultra Long Flight
Direct, this is a 13,736 kilometres (8,535 miles) route. Avoiding air-space restrictions across a lot of regions, including Indonesia, is going to make the flight path a lot longer than this.
El Al is talking about a flight time of 17 hours eastbound, and, add an hour to make it 18 hours on the return.
Flights are being flagged to start in the second quarter of 2020. Plenty can happen between now and then.
Qantas already has a codeshare agreement with El Al, that involves a flight on Qantas to Hong Kong, and then on to Israel with El Al. Although it’s actually cheaper to take Cathay all the way. Maybe the troubles in Hong Kong is the impetus for this proposed direct Israel to Australia route, as well as the movement to more direct ultra-long flights (Qantas’s Project Sunrise).
Melbourne has the largest population of self-identifying Jews, according to the last census, so take that Sydney!