(May 30, 2019 / JNS) Israel and Japan have agreed to open their first direct air link, with El Al airlines announcing on Wednesday that it will open the first direct Tel Aviv to Tokyo flight in March.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry hailed the move as a sign of strengthening ties between Israel and Japan.
The current travel time between Tel Aviv and Tokyo can be as long as 24 hours. The new direct flights will take approximately 11 hours to reach Tokyo from Tel Aviv and 12-and-a-half hours to make the return trip.
Israel’s ambassador to Japan, Yaffa Ben-Ari, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview that Japanese businesses have invested a total of $6 billion in Israel, with trade between the two countries valued at more than $3.2 billion in 2018—a billion-dollar increase from 2009.
In May 2018, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Israel and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Almost exactly four years earlier, Netanyahu made an official visit to Tokyo with his wife, Sara, and was hosted by Abe.
The new deal will see three direct flights a week to Tokyo.
Additional recent additions to the El Al flight list include Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Francisco, Nice and Manchester.