El Al Adds Low-Cost Flights to Europe

YERUSHALAYIM -

Starting in March, El Al Israel Airlines will be putting Budapest, Berlin and Prague on its list of low-cost destinations, Globes reported on Wednesday.

The five Boeing 737 planes being scrambled in the plan may also fly to Cyprus and Greece, part of El Al’s response to increased foreign competition under the new “Open Skies” policy.

Unlike other low-cost carriers, who sell tickets exclusively online, El Al will allow low-cost tickets to be sold by travel agents as well.

El Al’s previous attempt to sell cheap fares through a separate department (Basic) on its flights to Europe failed. Three years ago, El Al offered discount fares that did not include check-in or meals. Three months after launching the deals, El Al ended them, as they were not profitable.

The El Al flights will depart from Terminal 3, and not from the new area of Terminal 1 that opened last week to serve low-cost flights.

According to the Israel Airports Authority, 55 international flights per week are expected to pass through the new wing this winter.