'Lady Penelope' about to touch down in SFO

Virgin Atlantic is set to fly between Heathrow Airport and Ben Gurion Airport from September 25th.

Tickets for daily flights on an Airbus A330 go on sale from February 25th, timings will also be announced on the same date.

Virgin, who is developing special in-flight services, will offer over 180,000 seats to customers over the year.

Options include Upper Class, Premium and Economy Light, Classic and Delight plus belly hold space for up to 20 tonnes of cargo.

Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin has welcomed the news.

“The entry of one of the world’s leading airlines into Israel is another expression of confidence in Israel’s tourism product,” he noted.

“The revolution that we have implemented in the Ministry of Tourism in recent years is bearing fruit with record-breaking numbers of incoming tourism to Israel.

“New flights will be integrated with the marketing campaign in Europe, which highlights Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. I am convinced that, with the entry of Virgin Atlantic into Israel, we will see continued growth in incoming tourism from the UK.”

Virgin Atlantic chief executive Shai Weiss said the launch was a new phase of growth for company.

“Tel Aviv represents a fantastic opportunity for us,” he said.

“Israel’s economy is booming and as one of the world’s leading tech hubs we’re anticipating many business travellers and entrepreneurs flying between Tel Aviv and the UK.”

Virgin is also taking the opportunity to increase its US-Tel Aviv operation, using its trans-Atlantic Joint Venture with Delta to offer customers further US destinations connecting through London Heathrow including New York and San Francisco.

Sharon E. Bershadsky, Israel Government Tourist Office, demonstrated Virgin Atlantic’s confidence in Israel as a “leading tourism destination”.

“Our ‘Two Sunny Cities, One Break’ campaign has been very successful in showcasing Tel Aviv and Jerusalem,” she commented.

“We’re proud of our continued commitment to working with the travel trade industry.”

Details: www.virginatlantic.com

By Adam Moses