El Al Begins Direct Flights to Brazil Posted by Rachel on May 6, 2009 in Brazilian News, Travel
This week, El Al Airlines announced that it has begun direct flights from Israel to Brazil, the airline’s first new flight in a decade. The airline will run three direct flights a week from Tel Aviv to Sao Paulo and back. Each flight takes nearly 15 hours.
The airline decided to begin service to Brazil due to the increase in tourism between the two countries. The number of passengers traveling from Brazil to Israel reached 31,000 last year, a 50 percent increase from 2007. Also, there are 120,000 Jews living in Brazil, and they often travel to Israel for tourism or on special programs.
In addition, Brazil has become an enormously popular tourist destination for young Israelis, especially those finishing their military service. They travel to Rio de Janeiro, Florianopolis, and other cities, as well as other South American locations. El Al will also offer connecting flights from Sao Paulo to Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Uruguay.
In 2007, Israel signed a free trade agreement with MERCOSUR, the first pact made with a country outside of the region. The organization’s member countries have expanded trade with the Middle Eastern nation since then.