British Airways (BA) is among a number of carriers planning to go ahead with flights to Israel in May. Direct flights to Tel Aviv are currently available to book on the BA website, stating at £295 for a return, as of May 16 2020.
However, the airline has already pushed back its relaunch date by two weeks.
BA had initially planned to resume flying from London to the capital on May 2, but warnings from health officials and strict border regulations in Israel forced the airline to reconsider.
BA is not the only airline planning to kick start this route though.
Wizz Air and Air Canada are amongst other airlines who are allowing passengers to book seats.
Other airlines including Air India, Alitalia and airBaltic have made flights to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport available, but not until June.
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At present the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising against “all but essential travel” for an “indefinite” period.
Meanwhile, in Israel, though there has been a slight relaxation of lockdown, the border remains closed to non-citizens.
Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, it is hard to speculate how things will change in the coming months.
Israeli news website Globes contacted the country’s Ministry of Health to find out their plans for reopening the border.
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An official told the press: “At the moment, there is no change in the entrance policy to Israel. The issue will be addressed in the future in the event that the fall in morbidity continues.”
Travellers should be aware, though, that flights on offer are not necessarily for leisure purposes.
BA is working in partnership with the UK government as part of the £75 million repatriation effort to bring British travellers home.
Though many of its usual routes have been severely reduced or paused, flights do continue to take to the skies for travellers with an urgent need to fly.
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The British flag-bearer is also helping transport cargo, as well as vital PPE for healthcare workers and those in need.
The airline has also introduced a “book with confidence” customer policy, allowing travellers to amend and cancel plans if necessary, without incurring a fee.
The ‘book with confidence’ policy covers all BA routes with changes available right up to departure, though any fare difference will still be payable.
Andrew Brem, British Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer said: “As some customers may choose to change or delay their travel plans at the moment, it’s important we offer them greater flexibility.
“By waiving our change fee our customers can have the added confidence to book a trip with British Airways that suits them.”
Though some lockdown measures are being relaxed in countries around the world, in the UK they remain in place for now.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared outside of No.10 yesterday to emphasise the importance of staying home to “turn the tide.”
Though it will not be a rapid decision and could be some way in the future, if the science proves positive lockdown measures could gradually be lifted.
A spokesperson for British Airways said the airline will continue to carry out essential functions such as maintenance, towing and cleaning in order to be ready to start up again with short notice.
In a statement, British Airways also said: “Due to the considerable restrictions and challenging market environment, like many other airlines, we will temporarily suspend our flying schedule at Gatwick.
“We are contacting affected customers to discuss their options.”