El Al to operate three non-stop test flights to Melbourne
The first of Israel's El Al Airlines order of 16 Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets lands at Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
The flights, the longest carried out by an Israeli airline to date, will be served by El Al’s new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
El Al will operate three round-trip test flights between Tel Aviv and Melbourne in April and May 2020, the national carrier said on Tuesday, as it evaluates the launch of a regular non-stop service between the distant destinations.The flights, the longest carried out by an Israeli airline to date, will be served by El Al’s new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Flight duration from Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport to Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport is expected to be 16 hours and 15 minutes. The return flight is expected to take 17 hours and 45 minutes.Following the lengthy test flights, El Al says it will decide whether it is commercially feasible to launch regular operations. Passengers currently seeking to travel between Israel and Australia are required to stop over en route to their final destination.
Tickets are now on sale for the flights, which will depart from Tel Aviv on April 2, April 23 and May 14. Return flights will depart Melbourne on April 4, April 25 and May 16. Round-trip tickets from Tel Aviv will start from $1,199.“In the 1960s, El Al set a record when it operated the longest route in the world – from New York to Israel – with no stopovers, on a Boeing 707 aircraft,” said Michael Strassburger, El Al vice president of commercial and industry affairs.“In 2006, El Al began operating a scheduled nonstop flight to Los Angeles on its Boeing 777 aircraft, in 15 hours and 30 minutes, making it one of the five longest routes in the world at that time,” Strassburger said.
“Today, as we continue to renew our fleet with Dreamliner aircraft, we are trialing additional unprecedented alternatives for expanding our route network and further connecting Israel with the Diaspora.”In addition to the Melbourne trial, El Al has announced the launch of new routes to Chicago, Tokyo, Dublin and Düsseldorf in 2020. The carrier launched non-stop flights to Nice, San Francisco, Manchester and Las Vegas this year.In October, a Qantas Dreamliner made aviation history for the longest non-stop commercial passenger flight when it flew for 19 hours and 16 minutes from New York’s JFK Airport to Sydney Airport.