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Israeli airline EL AL resumes flights to Tel Aviv from Stansted Airport after 11-year break

Israel's flag carrier EL AL is returning to Stansted Airport with a new five-times-a-week service to the Middle Eastern country's main international airport.

The airline, which last operated scheduled services from the hub near Bishop's Stortford in 2009, begins flights to Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, on June 28. Initially it will operate until September 3, using a 166-seat Boeing 737-800 offering business and economy classes.

Ben Gurion Airport, founded in 1909 on the Mediterranean's south-eastern coastline, is on the northern outskirts of the city of Lod, which is about 12 miles (20 km) south-east of Tel Aviv. Named in 1973 after Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, the airport last year handled 24.8 million passengers, including over 2.5m international visitors.

EL AL 737-800 aircraft (29126611)
EL AL 737-800 aircraft (29126611)

Tel Aviv is the economic and technological centre of Israel, and ranked in the top 25 most important financial centres in the world. It is considered the world's vegan food capital, with the highest per capita population of non-meat and dairy eaters in the world. Tel Aviv's White City was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.

Stansted's head of aviation, Nick Sime, said: "In excess of 700,000 people already travel from our catchment area to Tel Aviv each year so it's fantastic EL AL has recognised the great opportunity that exists at Stansted and is offering people living in north London and the East of England a quicker and more convenient travel option.

"We're confident that the new service will be well used by passengers and look forward to developing the route with EL AL in the future."

Michael Strassburger, EL AL vice president commercial and industry affairs, said: "EL AL continues to expand its operations across the UK and is excited to return and fly from London Stansted.

"The new five-weekly flights from Stansted will offer our passengers from north London, East of England and surrounding areas the possibility to fly with EL AL, so we look forward to welcoming them to enjoy the Israeli experience that begins onboard our revamped aircraft fleet."

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