Israel’s national carrier El Al will begin direct flights from Tel Aviv to Melbourne, Australia, in the second quarter of 2020, it was announced on Wednesday.

The flights, pending regulatory approval, will be operated on the airline’s new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The flight from Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport to Melbourne will take approximately 16 hours and 45 minutes, and the return flight an hour longer, according to El Al. The route from Israel to Australia is expected to become one of the airline’s 10 longest direct-flight routes, according to CTech.

Australian Ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan told the Post that Australia welcomes El Al’s announcement.

“This is a great opportunity for more Australians and Israelis to explore each other’s beautiful countries,” he said. “Direct flights would also be a game changer for increasing our trade, investment and innovation links.”

Israeli Ambassador to Australia Mark Sofer wrote on Twitter: “Direct flights are game changers in bilateral relationships. They greatly enhance trade and tourism and, in general, bring people closer to one another. Here’s hoping that the project ‘takes off.’”

El Al is also planning to launch new routes to Chicago, Tokyo, Dublin and Düsseldorf in 2020. The carrier launched non-direct flights to Nice, San Francisco, Manchester and Las Vegas this year.

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