El Al will launch a direct route from Israel to Tokyo, Japan, marking the first-ever direct flights between the two countries.

Flights will begin in March 2020, using three of El Al’s new Boeing Dreamliner 787 jets. The company will begin selling tickets soon.

The direct flights to Japan are part of El Al’s plan to expand its flight routes in accordance with the needs of both Israeli travelers and international travelers arriving in Israel, the numbers of which have grown considerably in recent years. As well, the company is working to renew its fleet, so that by 2020 it will include 45 planes, including 16 Dreamliners.

The Tel Aviv-Tokyo flight will take 11 hours and 15 minutes, while the return flight will take approximately 12 and a half hours. Currently, Israelis wishing to fly to Japan need to take two flights, resulting in nearly 24 hours of travel.

Michael Strassburger, El Al’s V.P. of Commerce & Industry Affairs, said, “Japan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and now Israelis can visit it via a comfortable direct flight in the new Dreamliner planes. Over the past two years, we have received many requests from our customers to operate direct flights to Japan.”

“According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, approximately 40,000 Israelis visited Japan in 2018, while 20,000 Japanese visited Israel. The movement in recent years has grown at a fast pace and we are sure that opening a direct route between the countries will increase travel and significantly strengthen the economic and diplomatic ties between Israel and Japan.

“The direct flights to Japan join a list of other new direct routes launched recently by El Al, including to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago, and they significantly expand the options for tourism, entertainment, and the direct access both businesspeople and tourists have to these destinations.”