Air Canada in­creases its num­ber of flights to Is­rael

The Canadian Jewish News (Toronto) - - News - RON CSILLAG rc­sil­lag@thecjn.ca

Air Canada has an­nounced a “sig­nif­i­cant ex­pan­sion” of ser­vices be­tween Canada and Is­rael with the launch of a sea­sonal non-stop flight be­tween Mon­treal and Tel Aviv and an in­crease in its Toronto-tel Aviv ser­vice.

The car­rier will of­fer twice-weekly flights from Mon­treal to Tel Aviv from June 22 to Oct. 16.

Flight AC82 will depart Mon­treal at 6:35 p.m. on Thurs­days and Sun­days, ar­riv­ing in Tel Aviv the next day at 12:15 p.m. Re­turn flight AC83 will leave Tel Aviv at 1:55 p.m. on Mon­days and Fridays, ar­riv­ing in Mon­treal at 6:20 p.m.

The Mon­treal flight will be aboard a 292seat Air­bus A330-300 air­craft with three lev­els of ser­vice, in­clud­ing Air Canada’s busi­ness class.

Tick­ets were sched­uled to go on sale Feb. 15.

The air­line ceased its reg­u­lar flights from Mon­treal to Tel Aviv in 2000.

Mean­while, Toronto’s cur­rent ser­vice to Is­rael will in­crease start­ing this sum­mer to daily from six days a week, year-round.

The new ser­vices rep­re­sent a 28 per cent ca­pac­ity in­crease over sum­mer 2016, Air Canada said in a state­ment.

They are in re­sponse to “in­creased de­mand in busi­ness, leisure and cul­tural travel be­tween both coun­tries,” said Air Canada pres­i­dent and CEO Calin Rovi­nescu.

Com­ing only months af­ter Mon­treal’s trade mis­sion to Is­rael, the new route “is a con­crete ex­am­ple of the strength of the eco­nomic, fam­ily and com­mu­nity ties that unite us,” Mon­treal Mayor De­nis Coderre said in a state­ment.

Air Canada has been fly­ing to Is­rael for 22 years.

In Jan­uary, the dis­count air­line Air Transat an­nounced it would be­gin twice-weekly non-stop flights be­tween Mon­treal and Tel Aviv, also from June to Oc­to­ber.

The flights, on Wed­nes­days and Sun­days, are avail­able from Toronto with a con­nec­tion in Mon­treal.

Air Canada’s an­nounce­ment “is great news for ev­ery­body in On­tario and Que­bec” and for trav­ellers who can con­nect to Toronto and Mon­treal, said Jerry Adler, Cana­dian di­rec­tor of Is­rael’s min­istry of tourism.

Adler said he doesn’t think Air Canada’s move was in re­sponse to Air Transat’s ex­pan­sion of its Is­rael ser­vice.

“Things like that don’t hap­pen overnight. It was in the plan­ning, I’m sure, for

I hope it does change the price struc­ture across Canada. Com­pe­ti­tion is good.

Jerry Adler Is­raeli Min­istry of Tourism a long time.”

It’s too early to tell, he added, whether com­pe­ti­tion be­tween the two air­lines will trans­late into lower fares.

“I hope it does change the price struc­ture across Canada. Com­pe­ti­tion is good.”

Adler said he also hopes Air Canada will go on to in­sti­tute year-round flights be­tween Mon­treal and Is­rael.

El Al ended its ser­vice to Is­rael from Mon­treal in the late 1990s. There are no plans to re­in­sti­tute the flights “at this time,” Di­nah Kut­ner, gen­eral man­ager for El Al in Canada, told The CJN.

Kut­ner said El Al will be­gin ser­vice be­tween Is­rael and Toronto aboard the Boe­ing 787 Dream­liner some­time in 2018.

El Al, she said, will con­tinue its Toronto-tel Aviv sched­ule of three weekly flights in the win­ter (Sun­day, Tues­day and Thurs­day) and four dur­ing the sum­mer (Sun­day, Tues­day, Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day).

In 2014, Toronto’s Porter Air­lines and El Al signed an agree­ment that uses Newark, N.J., as a con­nect­ing point be­tween Tel Aviv and Billy Bishop Toronto City Air­port.

Un­der the agree­ment, trav­ellers are able to check bag­gage through to their fi­nal des­ti­na­tion.

The air­line ceased reg­u­lar flights from Mon­treal to Is­rael in 2000.

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