Ryanair has announced it is opening up shop in Israel for the first time with three lines to central and eastern Europe.
- Eilat, once hot spot for European tourists, fighting to draw fun-seekers
- Ryanair wants to turn Israel into hub for low-cost flights
Unlike almost all of Israel's international flights, the lines will not operate from Ben Gurion Airport, located in central Israel between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, but rather from the Ovda Airport, some 60 km from Israel's southernmost tip in the resort town of Eilat.
The flights will takes travelers to and from the Hungarian capital of Budapest, Lithuania's Kaunas or Poland's Krakow, and are expected to fly twice a week each starting this November.
“We are continuing to negotiate with the Israeli authorities and we look forward to growing our Israeli route network in the future,” the Irish firm's chief commercial officer David O’Brien was quoted as saying.
Ryanair, founded in 1985, operates flights on 737-800s throughout Europe, generally landing at secondary airports in order to reduce costs. In the past, reports have said the company was holding talks with Israeli officials to turn Israel into its regional hub.