EasyJet to Offer London Flights

The distance between London and Tel Aviv shrank this week as low-cost airline EasyJet announced it would start flying from Ben-Gurion International Airport to London. The price will start at 100 pounds.

EasyJet, however, wants to fly more than the London route - it will also offer cheap fares from Israel to Switzerland.

The three airlines that now fly the regularly-scheduled Tel Aviv-London route - BMI, El Al and British Airways - were surprised by EasyJet's planned six weekly flights to London Luton Airport starting in November. And they are also casting doubts about the fares.

Sebastian Weinstein, the CEO of BMI Israel, said the 100 pound fare is just meant to attract customers, and EasyJet will add fees for services such as luggage, food and preferred seating.

"The final price will be high and only a small number of seats on the flight will be sold at the minimum price," said Weinstein, adding that competition will determine the price.

BMI's current price starts at $465 for economy class, all included. British Airways is also preparing for EasyJet, saying the cheap prices offerd are only for off-season flights.

What may interest Israelis more than the London route is the introduction of flights to Switzerland, after Israel and the Swiss signed a new aviation agreement at the end of June.

Currently, only Swiss and El Al fly regularly scheduled flights between the countries, but this can now change, as EasyJet is already registered and operates in Switzerland.