The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed the decision by Israeli national carrier El Al to choose Melbourne as its Australian partner for direct services from Tel Aviv, with a trial to operate in April and May.
The non-stop Boeing 787 Dreamliner service will be a first – travel to and from Israel currently involves a connecting flight.
The Labor Government and Melbourne Airport worked with El Al to secure the direct service and support the commencement of the trial, which will help to boost the state’s already strong tourism links and trade with Israel.
Work is continuing with the airline to progress a potential permanent scheduled service to and from Melbourne.
Non-stop air services to Tel Aviv will significantly benefit Victoria – the state is home to Australia’s largest Israeli population. Tel Aviv’s location also has the potential to make the city an alternative connecting hub between Australia and Europe.
Israel is a key strategic partner for Victoria, with the Government establishing a dedicated Trade and Investment office in Tel Aviv in 2017 through an exclusive agreement with the Israel Australia Chamber of Commerce.
Victoria has a long and collaborative relationship with Israel based on research and development, innovation and tourism, and regular trade missions. In 2018, 55 per cent of Israeli students studying in Australia were enrolled at Victorian institutions.
Tourism in Victoria is worth $31.6 billion to the economy and supports more than 230,000 jobs.
As noted by Premier Daniel Andrews
“Victoria is well placed to become Israel’s gateway to Australia, and this is an important step towards making that a reality.”
“Israel and Victoria have strong links that go back a long way and we’re always looking at opportunities to make those ties even stronger.”
As noted by Acting Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Marlene Kairouz
“Relationships are about support, advancement and mutual benefit, and the Victoria-Israel connection delivers on all these points.”
“Biotech is just one sector of the Victorian economy that continues to benefit from close collaboration with Israel, growing knowledge and expertise and creating jobs.”