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Philippine Airlines seeks flights to Israel

May 05, 2021 00:00:00

MANILA, May 04: Philippine Airlines is in talks with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism to launch direct flights between the two countries, Sumple Flying reported.

Flights would commence this October and serve the rising demand for Filipinos traveling to Israel for tourism and work.

According to The Jerusalem Post, Philippine Airlines (PAL) is currently in talks with the Tourism Ministry to commence flights to Israel.

The carrier is seeing high demand from tourists and domestic workers in the Philippines wishing to travel to the Middle Eastern country.

Flights would operate between Philippines capital city of Manila and Israel's Tel Aviv, boosting connectivity between the countries.

The service would kick off in October 2021, with two weekly flights using PAL's flagship Airbus A350. For PAL, the flights would be a return to the country decades after stopping flights.

The timing of the flight coincides with Israel's plans to operate its border to tourists.

While selected vaccinated tour groups can enter from later this month, individual travelers can enter the country from July onwards. These plans are subject to change given the global situation at the time.

However, many hope and expect to see the border open (with vaccine and other requirements) by the winter.

The addition of direct flights between the Philippines and Israel could be a new opportunity for PAL.

Currently, 28,000 Filipino citizens reside in the country, mainly in the major hubs of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa. Adding direct services would allow more seamless travel for thousands who may be traveling home.

The biggest boost will be for tourism. Filipino citizens can travel visa-free to Israel for up to 90 days, opening the door to a new market for tourism.

Considering the strong religious ties and the country's popularity as a destination, there could be a huge untapped market.

The same applies in reverse as well, with the Philippines hoping to attract more Israeli tourists.

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