Update, 11/28: Emirates is delaying this route launch until further notice due to Israel’s latest travel ban. Hopefully the A380 will make it to Israel one day…
Update, 11/18: Israel media is now reporting that Emirates now plans to operate the inaugural flight from Dubai to Tel Aviv and back on December 6th on an A380 double decker jumbo!
As far as I know, this will be the first ever A380 to fly to the holy land!
The flight is sold out in first class, but is available in coach and business class.
Flight booking sites are still showing the flight operated by a 777-300ER. Emirates’ flagship A380 has 14 first class seats, so if and when that switches over, we may see 6 more first class seats go up for sale in each direction.
Will you fly on the first ever A380 flight into or out of Israel?
Originally posted on 11/4:
Emirates announced today that they will begin flying nonstop daily flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv on December 6th. Flights will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER with 8 closed first class suites in a 1-2-1 configuration, 42 business class seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, and 310 economy seats in a 3-4-3 configuration.
While the 777 doesn’t have the A380 onboard showers that I have raved about, it does feature Emirates’ fantastic first class suites and you’ll have access to Emirates awesome first class lounge in Dubai. The only other airline with first class service into Tel Aviv is British Airways, and their first class is more like business class than first…
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The flight will depart Dubai at 2:50pm and arrive in Tel Aviv at 4:25pm. The plane will spend 2 hours on the ground and then return from Tel Aviv at 6:25pm and arrive into Dubai at 11:25pm.
Competition on the 3.5 hour route is fierce with El Al flying up to 3 daily flights, Arkia flying up to 2 daily flights, FlyDubai flying up to 4 daily flights, and Israir flying up to 4 daily flights.
It’s a strange route for Emirates as state owned budget airline FlyDubai and state owned Emirates typically don’t overlap on the same routes. We’ll have to see how this one shakes out once Israel fully reopens, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this change into an Emirates only route, with multiple daily departures dumping a ton of capacity into the Israel market.
While you can book a flight from the US to Tel Aviv via Dubai on Emirates, it would add a lot of flying time compared to flying nonstop or with a European connection. However if you want to stopover in Dubai for a day or 2, then that routing would be far more logical.
Emirates also opens up lots routes with a more logical connection point to Asia, India, Australia, and the Maldives.
You can read my 2017 trip notes from a layover in Abu Dhabi and Dubai here. Of course since last year’s Abraham Accords the scene on the ground has changed and several kosher restaurants now operate in the UAE.
Emirates also serves the best mehadrin kosher food in the sky, catered fresh by the Kosher Arabia kitchen in Dubai. Here are pictures from DDF member mijo on his business class flight from Dubai to Johannesburg:
I was not yet able to price out awards on Emirates flights to Tel Aviv, but will update this post when that is added.
Will you fly Emirates to Israel?