Tourist chief in the dark on new flights
THE UK director of the Israel Government Tourist Office has voiced surprise at not being told about new proposed new direct flights between Manchester and Tel Aviv.
Uzi Gafni said he knew “nothing at all” about TLV Travel Club’s proposal before it was revealed in the British Jewish press last week. “I would certainly expect anyone doing this to make contact,” he said.
However, Assaf Sinai, managing director of TLV Travel Club — the British agent of Israeli operator Flying Logo — told the JC: “We sent a letter to the IGTO before Christmas, saying we were going to start and asking if it would be happy to support us in terms of publicity and expenses. It is not a body we need to notify and ask permission [from].”
Concern had been raised that TLV Travel Club does not hold an Air Travel Organisers’ Licence (ATOL), which is required by most firms which sell air travel in the UK. Mr Sinai expected to receive it by Monday. He added that an ABTA bond was expected to be finalised by the end of the month.
“We will not start flying without a licence and we will not take anyone’s money until we have all the statutory requirements,” he stressed. “We are not taking bookings at this stage, just reservations. We can start selling seats as soon as we have the ATOL.
“TLV Travel Club Limited is not in breach of any regulations and we will provide our customers with the service they deserve with all the protection required by law.”
Meanwhile, the company has announced that it will be laying on two special flights for Pesach.
Just over 260 seats are being offered at £439 return, including the revised airport taxes.
The flights, leaving Manchester on March 29 and returning on April 12, would be on Arkia aircraft. They would use Israeli security and passengers would receive kosher meals.