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Israeli national airline, El Al Israel Airlines Ltd, announced that it will launch a three-weekly direct flights connecting Tokyo(NRT) and Tel Aviv(TLV), starting from March 2020. El Al Airlines also launched flights to San Francisco, Nice and Manchester recently.
40,000 Israeli visited Japan last year and half the number of Japanese tourists came to Israel. Outgoing direct flights are expected to take about 11 hours. It will save the time for tourists and business people. At the present, it takes 16 to more than 24 hours getting to Japan due to the transit. According to Israel Export Institute(IEI), trades between Israel and Japan amounted to $3.5 billion in 2018 (not including diamonds). Import from Japan totaled around $2.35 billion, while export from Israel to Japan reached $1.16 billion, a steep increase from the past decade, which stood at an annual $700 million-$800 million. Overall, Japan is the 10th largest importer of Israeli goods.
El Al Airlines is also famous for its security. El Al Airlines is usually counted as one of the world's safest airline. In fact, neither the hijacking incidents nor the crash of passenger flights have ever occurred since 1968 (El Al Airlines’ “cargo plane” has clashed in Amsterdam in 1992). According to Compare Airline Safety Ratings - Airline Ratings, El Al Airlines acquired maximum rank thus its safeness has been evaluated worldwide.
Photo by Compare Airline Safety Ratings - Airline Ratings
El Al Airlines also take care of the quality of the pilots. About nine-tenths of them are from the Israeli Air Force. Nimrod Borovitz, El Al Airlines director of business development and strategy, says “Israel air force pilots will continue to be El Al's spearhead.”
El Al's airliners are equipped with defense systems against shoulder-held missiles. The flight guard defense system is a military system that has been modified to fit to civilian aircrafts. This battle-proven system is capable of detecting an approaching missile, warning the crew and automatically activating countermeasures in the form of flares that will divert the missile from its course.
And it is said that El Al's aircraft has specially reinforced floors and walls, and the cargo compartment has a blast resistant construction. In addition, the airline also modified cockpit doors, adding a special lock and on some planes a double door and it is a system that only the captain and the first officer can open the second door.
El Al Airlines is not only about safety but also using their connection to the Israeli Startup ecosystem. Shahar Markovitch, chief digital and information officer at El Al Airlines, is actively looking for AI and machine learning start-up companies. El Al Airlines provides in-flight meals to 6 million customers every year. Mr. Markovich says “Think about the logistical complexity of preparing that food, bringing it to the customer, getting rid of it. As such, the company is looking into collaboration with startups in the field of AI and machine learning, that can help airlines become 'smarter.'”
El Al's airliners will greatly contribute not only to human exchanges but also to technology exchanges.