Israel’s national carrier El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. is launching a thrice-weekly direct route connecting Tokyo’s Narita Airport to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Aiport, the company announced Wednesday. The route, which will employ a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, will take off in March 2020.
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In January, Calcalist reported
a plan to start operating direct flights between the countries, outlined during the visit of Hiroshige Sekō, the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, to Israel.
Trade between Israel and Japan, not including diamonds, amounted to $3.5 billion in 2018, according to the Israeli Export Institute, a 31% increase from 2017. Import from Japan totaled around $2.35 billion, while export from Israel to Japan reached $1.16 billion, a steep increase from the past decade, which stood at an annual $700 million-$800 million. Overall, Japan is the 10th largest importer of Israeli goods in terms of annual turnover, according to the Israeli Export Institute.
Japan Airlines Co. Ltd. is also interested in establishing a direct line to Israel, Yuki Saito, a director at the company, said in a January interview with Calcalist. The line is likely to also take off from Tokyo's Narita airport if established, he added.
Sun d’Or, an El Al subsidiary, is launching four charter flights connecting Narita Airport and Ben Gurion after September 13. The flights were officially announced at a press conference at the Embassy of Israel in Tokyo in February.