Tourist chief in the dark on new flights

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY RACHEL FLETCHER

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.

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