Israeli flag carrier El Al Airlines officially announced Tuesday that it will operate three direct flights to Melbourne, Australia starting April, in order to examine a possible future route between the two nations.
The flights are expected to last between 17 to 18 hours both ways, and will be made on the state-of-the-art Dreamliner 787 aircraft, of which El Al acquired 12 during the third quarter of 2019.
Israeli Ambassador to Australia Mark Sofer hailed the announcement as a way to improve both interpersonal and business ties between the two countries.
"Direct flights are game-changers in bilateral relationships," Sofer wrote on Twitter.
"They greatly enhance trade and tourism and in general bring peoples closer to one another," he said. "Here's hoping that the project 'takes off.'"
Sofer's Australian counterpart in Israel, Chris Cannan, also welcomed the announcement on Twitter.
"El Al has announced dates for its first direct flights between Israel and Australia - in April and May next year!" Cannan said.
"Better start planning for that dream holiday to Australia you’ve always talked about."
The test flights to Melbourne follow the approval of new direct flights by the flag carrier to Tokyo, Dublin, and Dusseldorf in 2020.
At the end of October, a 787 Dreamliner belonging to the Australian Qantas Airline Company, achieved the longest commercial flight in history, flying 16,200 km from New York to Sydney in 19.5 hours.