In the wake of a meeting between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi last September, the two countries have now officially agreed to launch new direct flights from Ben Gurion Airport to Sharm el-Sheikh in time for the Passover holidays.
Now that travel warnings for the Sinai, issued by Israel’s National Security Council over the years, have been lifted, Israeli airlines and tour operators are expected to make the most out of this new route, as Israelis are expected to flock to the Sinai. Direct flights will undoubtedly encourage many Israelis to choose the air route to Sharm el-Sheikh.
According to Prime Minister Bennett, “This is another step in warming the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. Cooperation between the two countries is expanding into many areas, benefitting both nations, as well as regional stability.
“Israel is slowly opening up to countries in the region, a move that was built based on the Israeli-Egyptian peace. Both sides need to invest in strengthening this relationship, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. I thank the security forces that oversaw the arrangements that will allow this flight route to open.”
Yaakov Amsalem, CEO and owner of Amsalem Tours, said: “We welcome the mutual decision of the Israeli and Egyptian governments to promote direct flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, a tourist destination known worldwide for its beauty. We expect a great demand among various target audiences, including families, groups, individuals, and of course, also among diving enthusiasts, as Sharm has some of the prime diving sites in the world.”
Both Israir and Arkia have already announced their plans to operate more than a dozen weekly flights each to Sharm el-Sheikh.
Oz Berlowitz, CO Arkia International: “We are very pleased with the opening of the route to such a sought-after destination like Sharm el-Sheikh, one of the most attractive holiday destinations in the Middle East and just an hour’s flight from Tel Aviv. We have already started marketing and selling flights and packages, including the best hotels in Sharm, and these will be available starting Passover. This is great news for Israelis who are looking for a luxurious vacation with fine weather at affordable prices, so close to Israel.”
As of April 2, Arkia will offer 18 weekly flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, with fares starting at $249 round trip or $359 for a 3-night package deal at a 4-star hotel.
Hila Hermolin Ronen, VP of Marketing and Sales at Israir Airlines, added: “We are sure that Sharm el-Sheikh will become a huge destination among Israelis in the near future and for a good reason. It is only about one hour’s flight and offers great prices and a large selection of hotels, beautiful beaches, and many attractions.”
Israir announced its plans to offer 15 weekly flights, with fares starting at $249 round trip or $349 for a 3-night package deal at a 5-star hotel.
For further reading: