South American LATAM Airlines has announced the fares for its newest destination, Tel Aviv, Israel. “Starting this December, Israel and Latin America will be much closer and accessible to each other than ever before”, said Brain Rodrigo, LATAM senior VP Europe, Middle East, and Africa Contreras.
On December 13th, the airline made its first flight from Tel Aviv to Santiago, Chile, with an intermediate stop in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The flight is priced at $731. The airline will also offer flights from Tel Aviv to Argentina via Sao Paolo at a cost of $800. The competitive introductory prices also include two 50-lb suitcases for tourist class passengers. Dreamliners will offer 213 tourist class seats, as well as 30 business class seats, which will cost $2,700 to $3,000. The flight from Tel Aviv to Sao Paolo takes 15 hours. Flights will take off at 6:00 PM on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays and land in Sao Paolo at 7:30 AM. Flights from Tel Aviv to Santiago take 19 hours, and the return flight from Brazil to Tel Aviv takes 13-14 hours.
There have been no direct flights from Israel to Central and South America for the past seven years. El Al Israel Airlines used to offer direct flights from Tel Aviv to Brazil, but discontinued the route in 2011. As reported by Globes Israeli News, two years ago, the Israel Ministry of Tourism began soliciting LATAM to add a route to Israel. The company, which was founded in 2010 through a merger between Chilean airline LAN and Brazilian airline TAM flies to 120 destinations, including 40 in Brazil, 19 in Peru, 12 in Argentina, and five in Ecuador. LATAM has now complied, as part of its expansion in European countries. It has also recently inaugurated routes to Rome and Lisbon, and will soon follow with the addition of Munich.
Israel’s Ministry of Tourism hopes to boost tourism from countries such as Argentina, Peru, and Chile. South America is already a popular destination for Israeli youth, who like to vacation there after their military service. The company will receive a grant of ˆ750,000 for operating three weekly flights to Israel.
“You have nothing to worry about,” Ministry of Tourism director general Amir Levy told LATAM’s representatives. “First of all, Israelis will support you with the post-military service travelers. Secondly, our efforts are gathering momentum. We’re breaking the record for incoming tourism year after year, with an emphasis on South America. Direct flights mean important major support for the effort to increase passenger traffic from South America. We’ve already seen how the entry of airlines such as Air India and Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines immediately expands the market, and it will happen here, too. I believe that we’ll develop more routes from destinations in South America and continue to set new records.”
By Ellen Cans
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