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Hungarian budget airline expands routes from Israel to Europe

Wizz Air to offer low-cost flights from Tel Aviv to Poland, Romania, and Slovakia; London service planned for later in the year

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative image of the pink and purple stripes of a Wizz Air plane (Courtesy Wizz Air)
Illustrative image of the pink and purple stripes of a Wizz Air plane (Courtesy Wizz Air)

A Hungarian budget airline announced Tuesday that it will add three new routes to more than a dozen it already operates between Israeli airports and destinations in central and eastern Europe.

Wizz Air said in a statement that it will start operating flights from Tel Aviv to Lublin in Poland, Craiova in Romania and Kosice in Slovakia. A one-way flight will cost NIS 154 ($43) and the company’s pink, purple and white liveried planes will fly twice a week. Tickets can be purchased directly from the Wizz Air website.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin welcomed the development, saying it showed the company had confidence in the Israeli tourism sector.

“The tourism industry is currently going through a great transformation and the expansion of Wizz Air operation is a testament to the significant improvement in the attractiveness of Israel as a tourism destination,” Levin said in the statement sent by Wizz Air.

The airline also announced it will increase the number of flights on two of its already established routes. From September, there will be between four and seven flights a week on the Bucharest-Tel Aviv route and, from the end October, there will be between seven and 10 weekly a week connecting to Budapest.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, November 16, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, November 16, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

“We are thrilled to be adding today three new European destinations to Wizz Air’s low-fare network,” said Owain Jones, chief corporate officer at Wizz Air.

Wizz Air noted in the press release that, since its first flights between Israel and Budapest in 2012, it has flown some 1.2 million passengers to and from Israel.

In total, the airline has 17 routes to nine European countries from Tel Aviv and Eilat, as well as one from Tel Aviv to London-Luton airport that is due to start in June.

The company claims to be the largest low-cost airline operating in central and eastern Europe, with more than 500 routes to 40 countries.

“The low-fare travel opportunities created by Wizz in Israel will further stimulate the tourism industry and boost the trade and business links between the countries,” the company predicted.

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