Will another airline fill Israel gap?

THE collapse of Monarch Airways has come as a bombshell, principally of course for the 2,000-plus employees who have lost their jobs.

But itís also devastating for those in the north of England who used it to fly to Israel. From four flights a week, now there are just two direct services with Easyjet.

It is much less of a problem for anyone down south. There are several carriers offering flights to Ben-Gurion airport from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton or Stansted.

But any traveller in the north has no such luxury.

Without a rival on the lucrative Manchester route, Easyjet can ó if they so desire ó hike their fares.

Oh for the days when Manchester had a two-flights-a-week direct service to Tel Aviv on El Al.

Alas, that ended in 2001 because there were too many empty seats after the first Intifada. Not all that many people could afford Israel holidays back then when a week or two in Majorca or the Costa del Sol was so much cheaper.

But today itís a difference story. Monarch flights to Israel often flew at full capacity.

Other low-cost airlines like Thomsonfly and Jet2 joined the gravy train to transport us to the Promised Land. But for one reason or another, their routes were dropped.

There are indirect ways to get to Israel from the north on other carriers.

But a long, long journey, changing planes and possibly terminals and maybe arriving in Tel Aviv late at night, can be a hassle, especially with young children in tow.

Ryanair has long been rumoured to be thinking of starting a Manchester-Tel Aviv service, as the Jewish Telegraph mentioned last week, but hopefully one of the other low-cost carriers will speedily realise the value.

Jack Goldstone,
Greater Manchester.

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