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El Al launches nonstop service between Israel, Las Vegas

Updated June 14, 2019 - 3:55 pm

For the second time in a week, Las Vegas airport welcomed new nonstop international flight service on Friday.

The landing of a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft at McCarran International Airport marked the beginning of El Al Israel Airlines’ weekly nonstop flight service between Tel Aviv, Israel and Las Vegas. Last week the maiden nonstop flight from KLM Airlines linking Amsterdam and Las Vegas landed in Las Vegas kicking off its weekly flight service.

With an estimated annual economic impact of $5.9 million, the Tel Aviv nonstop service and the continued additions of new international service is good for all involved with making the flights happen, according to Rosemary Vassiliadis, director of the Clark County Department of Aviation.

“El Al represents another confirmation of the strength of this destination,” Vassiliadis said. “The demand is out there. It is really nice for an international airline to take a gamble on us.”

A Tel Aviv-to-Las Vegas flight will depart Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv at 7 a.m. Fridays and land at McCarran at 11:15 a.m. — a travel time of 14 hours, 15 minutes.

A Las Vegas-to-Tel Aviv flight will run Saturdays, departing McCarran at 10:45 p.m. and landing at Ben-Gurion at 10:15 p.m. Saturdays, a flight of 13 hours, 30 minutes.

El Al could add further service dates if the demand warrants it, said Yoram Elgrabli, vice president of North and Central America for El Al.

“We are really looking forward to expanding our activity in Las Vegas,” Elgrabli said. “We start with one, but you never know. Soon we could have the second and the third and why not daily? If we don’t dream, we won’t reach.”

El Al already has plans to add a special flight set to land in Las Vegas on Jan. 6 to serve Israeli passengers heading to the 2020 CES, an international consumer electronics show, Michael Strassburger, vice president of commercial and industry affairs for El Al, told the Review-Journal last month.

All flights will use Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft with economy, premium and business class options. The Dreamliner can hold up to 330 passengers and is known for its fuel efficiency and range, which in turn has opened up new nonstop routes, according to Boeing.

El Al, which began operating in 1948, now flies to 36 destinations from Israel, serving hundreds of other destinations worldwide via code-sharing and partnerships with other carriers. The airline last year flew over 5.6 million passengers.

El Al serves six other North American destinations with nonstop service, including San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami and Toronto.

The new flight doesn’t just directly connect Israel and Las Vegas. It opens up a slew of other connecting flights worldwide, Vassiliadis said.

“We do feel that Tel Aviv will open up the world to us,” she said. “A part of the world that didn’t have a two-stop, that’s convenient for the transfer. For the passenger with the Dreamliner it’s going to be just a phenomenal addition to Las Vegas.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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