Israeli flag-carrier El Al is to test a service to the Australian city of Melbourne using Boeing 787s.
Israeli flag carrier El Al is to test a service to the Australian city of Melbourne using Boeing 787s.
The airline says the trial flights will commence “in a few months”, but it has not elaborated on the plans.
El Al disclosed its intention as it unveiled third-quarter financial results.
The distance to Melbourne from its Tel Aviv base is some 7,400nm but this great-circle route is unlikely to be available to the Israeli operator as it would pass through Saudi Arabian airspace.
El Al is not permitted to cross Saudi Arabia, a restriction highlighted last year after Air India started operating Tel Aviv services without such a limitation.
Its operation to Mumbai follows a route south along the Red Sea which would add a further 400-500nm to the Melbourne sector. Boeing puts the 787-9’s range at 7,530nm.
The Israeli carrier has a fleet of 12 Boeing 787-9s and is preparing to receive the first of four 787-8s.
It has not indicated the likely route for the Melbourne service, nor whether the aircraft might need to be payload-limited.
El Al has configured its 787-9s with 282 seats in three classes.
Australia’s embassy in Israel states that the first direct flights, according to the airline, will take place in April 2020.
It adds that such flights will provide benefits to tourism, trade and mutual investment.