Qantas and El Al have formed a new partnership aimed at improving flight connectivity between Australia and Israel.
Under the new agreement, the national carriers will connect with other’s services via two key Asian transit points: Bangkok and Hong Kong. Qantas will place its code on El Al’s flights between Tel Aviv and the two Asian cities, while El Al will codeshare on Qantas’ flights linking Bangkok with Sydney, and Hong Kong with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The partnership will also extend to South Africa, with both airlines codesharing on the other’s flights to Johannesburg – Qantas from Sydney and El Al from Tel Aviv.
The agreement was signed by Gareth Evans, CEO of Qantas International, David Maimon, president & CEO of El Al, in a ceremony attended by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu. It followed the signing of a new air service agreement between Australia and Israel.
“We’re really pleased to be teaming up with El Al and adding Tel Aviv to our network,” said Evans. “It’s a popular destination for the many Australians with family and friends in Israel, including a lot of Qantas frequent flyers who we know will welcome the option to book with us.
“The timing’s especially good when you think about the growing number of Australian companies doing business with Israel’s world-class technology and start-up sectors,” he added.
Maimon added that Australia is a “growing destination for Israelis, especially from the business and tourism segments”.
“To have the national carriers of both Israel and Australia further enhance cooperation will strengthen the ties between our countries and provide a seamless mode of travel for our passengers,” he commented.
Under the arrangement, premium passengers of both airlines will be offered access to airport lounges in the cities included in the codeshare, and frequent flyers will be able to earn miles. The joint flights will go on sale in the second half of 2017.