Today (Sunday) start operating The direct flights from Israel to Sharm el-Sheikh. After a long period of talking about opening the line and delaying the issuance of the required permits until the last minute, today it is finally happening and the flights are starting to take off.

The first to fly Israelis to a resort town in the southern Egyptian peninsula is El Al via Sun Dor. Later in the day, Israir and Arkia flights will also join. The three Israeli companies will operate nine direct flights a week during the first session. The expected length will be about 50 minutes in each direction.

Read more in Calcalist:

The first flight of Sun Dor, flight 5193, which took off this morning at 10:15 from Ben Gurion Airport, was held on one of the busiest days of the year at the airport. Today, 63,500 passengers are expected to pass through the airport. Will return to Israel.

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Sharm el-Sheikh Sinai Egypt

Sharm el-Sheikh

(Photo: Getty)

To mark the historic takeoff, a solemn ceremony was held in the presence of the incoming CEO of El Al, Dina Ben-Tal Ganensia, El Al VP of Shlomi Shem Shalom and Gal Gershon, CEO of Sun Dor, during which the entrance ribbon was cut and the first passengers were greeted. Canvas bags awaited the passengers of the first flight, including a sea wheel, a bottle of water and snacks.

The flights will be operated on narrow-body aircraft: Sun Dor’s Boeing 737, Israir and Arkia will operate Airbus aircraft. Even the smallest aircraft operating in Arkia’s fleet, the Embraer, is expected to fly on this route.

After the exorbitant prices we first saw, with the opening of ticket sales about two weeks ago and the criticism that followed, it seems that prices are now more sane. El Al is advertising tickets starting at $ 269. In a check we conducted on the company’s website, we found flights starting at $ 350 round trip.

Israir advertises vacation packages that include flights and accommodation in five-star hotels at a price of $ 962 for two adults, about $ 481 per person.

In Arkia we found flights in the price range of $ 297 to $ 522, depending on the dates.

The delay in opening the route until the deadline, despite the Prime Minister’s Office’s announcement of the launch of the route and the airlines’ announcements that followed, was due to a delay in obtaining the security clearances required to operate these flights. This confirmation officially reached the airlines only a week ago, which means less than a week before the first flight took off.

“It is definitely an exciting moment. Until the last minute we waited for the security clearances received last week, immediately after that we published the flights and today we are on the first flight to Sharm and the plane is full,” Shlomi told Shalom, CEO of El Al in an interview with Ynet.

Regarding the number of flights and whether it will increase in the future, he replied with peace: “I assume that with the demand more flights will be approved and we will be able to operate daily flights later, we have seen what happened with Dubai.”

There were 189 passengers on the plane this morning, some of whom did not even know they were participating in history until they reached the flight gate in the field.

Manny King (21) from Jerusalem, who to this day used to travel to Sharm el-Sheikh in his car, said how excited he is to fly to a destination he loves so much. “I have traveled to Sinai 17 times already but this time we are very excited because it shortens the trip very much. I think this is the first time we see that relations between Israel and Egypt are great. Every time I am excited to go to Sinai, but here it is more exciting because there is no bureaucracy.”

“By Thursday I was sure I would drive and pass on foot, but when I was told about the flights I went to the site several times until I was able to purchase plane tickets for me and ten other people.”

Yehuda Shachar (21) also from Jerusalem said excitedly: “Until today it always seemed like a trip to Sinai. It’s amazing they saved us the trip of hours and then it became clear to us that it was a premiere flight and it’s amazing. It will cause normal tourist traffic .

Miri, Erez, Ohad and Hoodia Segev from Kibbutz Shoval, decided to fly to Sinai less than 48 hours ago. ‘We decided to go on Friday at midnight when the price dropped by fifty percent. It was not easy because the Sun Dor site is functioning outrageously but in the end we managed to order. “Family members who are used to crossing the land border to Sinai added:” After what we saw happening at the Taba border, it is an experience. “Sharm el-Sheikh are coming back to you again,” they announced.

Another way to get to Egypt is by land and today it is busier than usual. Starting in the morning, thousands of Israelis began arriving at the southern border – the Taba crossing, in order to rest in the northern part of Sinai. About 5,000 Israelis are expected to pass through this terminal alone today.

“Passengers are advised to arrive in the afternoon, in light of the considerable congestion in the morning. The border crossing due to Taba is expected to be congested all week, the week of the week,” a spokesman for the Airports Authority said. It was further reported that the transition is intensified by manpower. However, the Egyptian side of Taba is creating traffic jams up to the Princess Hotel in Eilat due to the loads that the Egyptians are having a hard time with at this stage.

Daniel Yehudai, has been at the Taba crossing with her friends since the early hours of the morning, on her way to rest in Nuweiba. “The queue at the moment is half a kilometer long, very busy,” Yehudai told Ynet as she waited in line for more than three and a half hours. However she tells of the professional staff at the terminal and tries to help the travelers with the long wait. “There is a tent with shading that helps protect against the sun,” Yehudai said.

Daniel Simon Danino also arrived with his friends at the southern border crossing. “We are here from seven in the morning, stuck. At first the queue progressed nicely and then got stuck. We have not even entered the waiting tent yet. There are thousands behind us. But we are the beautiful people of Israel, so pass the time. Laugh in lines, open snacks, pass it.”

Asked if he was not afraid to travel with security tensions, Simon Danino replied that “the country is more scary.”

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