The US is the top destination for Israelis, with ten daily flights by El Al, Delta Airlines, US Air, and United Airlines. The Israel Airports Authority says that 3,000 people departed to the US on Wednesday alone. Many more people fly to the US indirectly via Europe.
According to Ophir Tours VP Yehuda Zafrani, current fares to New York are 25% higher than in 2012. “The reason is supply and demand,” he says. “Fares to Europe have not risen because of competition from low-cost airlines, which are taking an ever larger share. But as for the US, demand exceeds the supply, and no new carriers are on the route.”
Zafrani says that direct flights to the US cost $1,600-2,300, compared with $1,200-1,600 in 2012. Passengers only solace is that the shekel’s appreciation against the dollar has shaved 10% off the shekel cost of tickets.
ISSTA Lines VP marketing Ronen Carasso says that fares over the Yomim Tovim will hit seasonal highs. “During the holiday’s especially over Sukkot, fares will be 30-40% above seasonal fares. If you don’t have to fly then, you should postpone your trip to early October. The weather is still good in the US and you’ll save a lot of money.”
In October-November, indirect flights to the US can be found for $740 by Brussels Airlines, $800 by Turkish Airlines, and $850 by British Airways. Direct flights cost $1,200.
As for the winter and Passover, Zafrani says, “People seeking early reservations can find direct flights for $900-950. We have a long winter this year, and Passover will fall on April 15, 2014, so it will still be possible to enjoy winter fares. Fares over Passover will be $900-1,400 for early reservations, but people making reservations in January-March will already pay $1,800-2,000 for a direct flight.”
Read more at GLOBES.