El Al to Test Israel-Australia Nonstop Flights

An El Al airlines plane after landing at Ben Gurion airport. (Reuers/Eric Gaillard)

El Al is set to hold three round-trip test flights between Israel and Melbourne, Australia, in April and May 2020, as it evaluates offering regular nonstop service between the distant destinations.

The flights will be the longest of an Israeli airline to date, and will be carried out by its new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, the company reported on Tuesday.

Flight duration from Ben Gurion airport to Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport is projected at 16 hours and 15 minutes, with the return flight taking 17 hours and 45 minutes.

Tickets are now on sale for the flights, whose dates are: departure from Tel Aviv on April 2, April 23 and May 14; and return flights from Melbourne on April 4, April 25 and May 16. Round-trip tickets from Tel Aviv will start from $1,199.

In addition to the Melbourne trial, El Al announced new routes to Chicago, Tokyo, Dublin and Dusseldorf in 2020, in addition to nonstop flights to Nice (France), San Francisco, Manchester and Las Vegas this year.

In October, a Qantas Dreamliner set an aviation record when it made the longest nonstop commercial passenger flight from New York’s JFK airport to Sydney airport, with a flight duration of 19 hours and 16 minutes.