El Al originally planned to launch service to Tokyo in March of 2020 before the Olympics with 3 weekly flights. Then COVID hit, the Olympics were postponed, the airline was sold, and flight plans were put on hold.
In October 2021 the airline planned for a March 2022 launch of service to Tokyo with 3 weekly flights, but Omicron hit and Japan decided to remain closed to tourism. El Al scrapped the flight.
When Saudi Arabia announced that they would allow Israel to use their airspace, the hope was for shorter and more efficient flights to places like Tokyo, but unfortunately Oman has refused to open their airspace so that remains on hold.
Nevertheless, El Al is once again aiming to launch flights to Tokyo. That may have to do with Japan’s plans to remove tourist entry restrictions and quotas starting next month.
They are now selling 2 weekly 787-8 flights starting on March 1st, 2023. The smaller Dreamliner variant features 21 business class seats, 35 premium economy seats, and 183 seats in coach. Flights are now on sale for $999 in coach, $2,099 in premium, and $3,999 in business class round-trip.
The flight is scheduled to depart from Tel Aviv on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 8:45pm, arriving into Tokyo at 2:15pm the next day after an 11.5 hour flight. The timing seems odd to me, with Shabbos ending in Tel Aviv as late at 8:33pm the summer, but perhaps that will be modified?
The return flight is scheduled to depart from Tokyo on Sundays and Thursdays at 5:15pm, arriving into Tel Aviv at 10:45pm the same day after a 12.5 hour flight.
I wrote about my accidental trip to Japan in 2015 here and spent a couple weeks there in 2005, it’s a fascinating country to explore.
Will you fly El Al to Japan? Will the 3rd time be the charm for the airline?