Air Transat launches Montreal - Tel Aviv direct flights
MONTREAL - Some 200 elected officials, business community leaders and tourism partners gathered at the Montreal Science Centre to celebrate Air Transat's first flight between Montreal and Tel Aviv, which will take off this coming June 18. Among those in attendance were Lionel Perez, member of the Executive Committee of the City of Montreal, Uri Steinberg, Consul and Israel Tourism Commissioner for North America, and Philippe Rainville, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aeroports de Montreal.
The event was co-presided by Jean-Marc Eustache, founder and President and Chief Executive Officer, Transat A.T. Inc., and Ziv Nevo Kulman, Consul General of Israel and Permanent Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
"We will be offering our customers a historic moment with a capital 'H' this summer," said Mr. Eustache, reminding guests that Transat, one of the world's largest integrated tourism companies, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Mr. Eustache also took the opportunity to state his belief that tourism is the future. "Tourism demand in Canada exceeded $91 billion in 2016, generating some 720,000 jobs," he said. "We are proud to be making a significant contribution to the development and growth of this economic sector."
For his part, Mr. Kulman said: "Since Air Transat's announcement of a direct flight linking Montreal with Tel Aviv, we have seen a dramatic increase in interest for Israel as a tourist destination and eagerly welcome this wonderful opportunity to welcome thousands of passengers from Canada to our country." He added: "This direct air link presents travellers with an ideal chance to discover the riches of the Holy Land, the beauty of its landscapes and the diversity of its peoples, as well as the chance for Israelis to enjoy the 150th and 375th anniversary festivities in Canada and Montreal."
"The air link announced by Air Transat is good news for the Quebec economy. The exchanges made possible by the new link between Israel and Quebec, particularly for tourists, can only benefit our destination," added Julie Boulet, Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region.
Yariv Levin, Israeli Minister of Tourism, noted: "I welcome the decision by Transat to open a route into Israel with the co-operation and support of the Tourism Ministry. Transat joins a lengthy list of airlines that are opening new direct routes to Israel and view Israel as an attractive tourism destination. This is a vote of confidence in the Israeli tourism product and I am convinced that the new route will be a success."
"Last November, I was privileged to lead a major trade mission to Israel. I could see how well our economies and our businesses complemented each other. Montreal and Tel Aviv are major centres of research and innovation, as well as popular destinations for business, tourism and leisure. This new direct air link underlines the importance of the business, tourism and community relationships between Montreal and Israel. I am convinced this new direct flight will be a success, and that it will further stimulate trade and tourism between Montreal and Israel" indicated Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal.
And Mr. Rainville stated: "In addition to directly serving 21 European cities from Montreal, Air Transat is opening new markets to the Middle East with its Tel Aviv service. Montrealers are the beneficiaries of this culturally and historically rich destination. Once again, we can underscore our partner's contribution to offering such a wide range of destinations out of Montreal–Trudeau, which now features nearly 140 destinations served by direct flights."
Yves Lalumiere, President and CEO of Tourisme Montreal, noted: "Tourisme Montreal would like to commend Air Transat for making it easier to travel from our city to the Holy Land. We are confident that this new direct flight will result in positive tourism and economic spinoffs for both destinations. This move also confirms Montreal's position as an official gateway to North America."
The new city-pair will be flown by a 332-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft, aboard which passengers will enjoy the unparalleled experience offered by Air Transat, named Best North America Leisure Airline for the past five years.
Transat will offer its customers 28 transatlantic destinations — Tel Aviv and 27 European centres— for the summer of 2017.
Starting June 18 and until the end of October, Air Transat will offer two direct flights a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, from Montreal–Trudeau airport to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. Synchronized connecting flights from Toronto will enable travellers to board the non-stop flight departing from Montreal.
"We are thrilled to feature our very first destination in the Middle East. The demand for a direct Montreal-Tel Aviv flight was high for travellers visiting friends and family in the two cities and those in search of new discoveries," said Annick Guerard, President of Transat Tours Canada. "Tel Aviv is a vibrant and modern metropolis with plenty to offer in terms of culture, gastronomy and nightlife. It is also the ideal gateway for a vacation immersing travellers in ancient and religious history."
Transat will offer four guided tours in Israel to allow travellers to fully explore this destination thanks to the expertise of passionate guides. Combining proven itineraries, well-located three- or four-star hotels, experienced guides, air-conditioned coaches and a wide variety of inclusions (such as some meals), Transat's guided tours offer travellers complete peace of mind while showing them the best that Israel has to offer.
Wonders of Israel and Jordan (in French only): Travellers can journey through millennia of history with this guided tour focusing on the most magnificent treasures of Israel and Jordan. From Herod's ancient palace to the red-rose city of Petra to the ruins of Caesarea, travellers will explore some of the most fascinating archeological sites in the world. And they'll spend a few days in Jerusalem to discover its holy sites, souks and museums.
Wonders of Israel (in French only): This captivating tour in the heart of Israel will lead travellers to the discovery of the holiest sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Travellers will journey through the Judean Desert and swim in the Dead Sea, as well as explore Jerusalem and its mythical sites, from the Wailing Wall to the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They will also discover Galilee and end their holiday in bustling Tel Aviv, the city that never sleeps.
Bible Land (in English only): This guided tour will invite travellers to discover the Bible's holiest sites. They will explore Cana, where Jesus changed water into wine, visit Tabgha, site of Jesus's miraculous multiplication of loaves and fishes, and marvel at the room on Mount Zion where the Last Supper was held. A swim in the salty waters of the Dead Sea will make this experience even more memorable.
Discover Tel Aviv & Jerusalem (in French and in English) tour will bring history to life like no other. Travellers will go to Tabgha, visit the ruins of the ancient synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus taught, marvel at the room on Mount Zion where the Last Supper was held, and stop at the famous baptismal site of Yardenit. They will also explore the Old City of Jerusalem and have the chance to float in the mythical Dead Sea. In addition, with so many a la carte visits offered, travellers can customize their adventure.
One-week stays in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem will also be available. These packages, which include round-trip flight in Economy Class, accommodation in three-, four- or five-star hotels, transfers to and from the airport, and seven breakfasts (some include a 7 day car rental), will offer travellers the opportunity to fully explore some cities, while staying a few days at the same hotel.
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv: a multi-city adventure, with four nights in Jerusalem and three nights in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv: seven nights to discover the Israeli metropolis
Jerusalem: seven nights to take the pulse of the Israeli capital
Tel Aviv and Galilee: three nights in Tel Aviv and four nights in Galilee
Jerusalem and the Negev desert: two nights in Jerusalem, four nights in the Negev desert and one night in Tel Aviv
Travellers can also customize their holiday with the following options for a la carte visits: