The budget airline Ryanair will be launching flights to Israel’s southern tourist city Eilat, starting in the coming winter.

The Irish carrier will operate flights from Ovda to Budapest, Krakow and Kaunas in Lithuania.

Tickets on the six weekly flights are touted to start at €30 each way, however flights will not land in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport, which serves the vast majority of Israelis traveling abroad.

Ryanair’s David O’Brien said in the conference, “We will strengthen our presence in Israel as time goes by. Eilat is a very unique tourist destination like Morocco and the Canary Islands and we are certain that we will fill the planes.”

Israel’s Ministry of Tourism is reportedly paying a €45 subsidy per tourist flying to Eilat, after tourism figures have not bounced back in the wake of last summer’s war with Hamas, Operation Protective Edge.

Numbers of Russian tourists in particular are down, with the country regularly being the source of the highest number of tourists to the Jewish state.

Ryanair had been considering flying to Ben Gurion Airport, however they have stated that due to the terms set out by Israel’s airport authority, other routes were at present more profitable.

by Zack Pyzer

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