The Easy Way to Israel

El Al unveils new flights, planes and airport lounge

By: By Skye Mayring

El Al
El Al added two new Boeing 777 aircraft to
their popular route between Tel Aviv and LAX.
Spring is a glorious season to visit Israel. And this spring marks a major milestone for the country, which will commemorate its 60th anniversary in May and celebrate its Independence Day on the 8th, with dignitaries and politicians from around the world expected to visit in support.

“There will be a number of celebratory events. And, for a country that’s as young as Israel, you can go every year and see the amount of development and progress that’s being made there, considering it was only a desert 60 years ago,” said Bill Gale, West Coast regional manager at El Al Israel Airlines.

The other benefit is, of course, that spring airfare and hotel prices are lower than the winter and summer high seasons. Following suit, El Al, Israel’s national airline, is offering a companion-fare special and reduced spring early-bird airfares on nonstop flights to Tel Aviv both promotions available for travel to Israel through May 31. “As long as you book early, there will be available seats and that’s the whole point, from our perspective, to create a stimulus and generate a demand in advance,” he explained.

Included in the early-bird promotion are roundtrip, economy flights to Tel Aviv from New York (JFK/Newark) from $1,133; from Chicago from $1,303; from Miami from $1,383; and from Los Angeles from $1,483.

The companion-fare special is available when reservations, ticketing and travel for two clients are made at the same time on the same dates/flights. Companions flying economy from LAX can expect to pay $1,433 per person, while platinum business and first class will pay $3,451 and $5,637 respectively.

As the only airline flying nonstop from LAX, El Al recently expanded its service to include five nonstops (Sunday through Thursday).


El Al
Spacious seats are an El Al staple.
“When we launched three weekly nonstop flights from LAX in 2006 it was just after the war in Lebanon started, which is called the Second Lebanon War,” Gale said. One would have expected a rapid attrition of travelers. Instead, in the following year, research showed that frequent flyers on other airlines converted their membership to El Al. Most likely, these new members found that they could save anywhere from eight to ten hours’ travel time in each direction by flying nonstop.

“Therefore, we decided that on April 1 we would launch five weekly nonstops, which, for El Al, is daily service because we can’t fly on the Jewish Sabbath,” Gale said. Other upgrades for LAX passengers include the recent delivery of two new Boeing 777 aircrafts and the retrofitting of El Al’s remaining fleet of 777s to match the newest configuration. The retrofitting increased first-class capacity from six seats to 12, while the business-class seats are at an approximate 33 seats. Regardless of class, every seat on the Boeing 777 features personal TV screens and a wide selection of in-flight entertainment.

On land, a brand-new shared-use lounge in the LAX airport awaits.

Premium-class passengers in first and platinum business classes can take advantage of the full business center, large-screen TV viewing area and, of course, refreshments. Such bountiful upgrades aren’t exclusive to Angelenos, however. Last month, El Al announced its agreement to purchase four state-of-the-art 777-200 ER aircrafts to be used on the U.S./Israel routes. The planes will be equipped with Rolls-Royce engines and configured with 279 spacious, comfortable seats. Three of the brand-new Boeing aircrafts are scheduled to be delivered by 2012, while El Al will likely receive the other by the first quarter of 2013.

This $540 million investment points to the fact that, as of late, people have been feeling quite confident and secure about traveling to the Holy Land. According to Gale, Americans have come to discover that Israel is one of the world’s friendliest countries to receive tourists.

El Al Israel Airlines