Ryanair will launch flights to Israel in November, marking a significant expansion of its geographic footprint.
The airline, headed by chief executive Michael O’Leary, has been working for years on sealing an agreement with Israeli authorities. An open skies deal inked by Israel and the EU in 2013 paved the way for the airline to establish operations in the Middle East country.
It means that Ryanair will now serve three continents – Europe, Africa and Asia.
The flights to Israel will operate from Budapest, Krakow and Kaunus to Eilat Ovda Airport, which is about 300km south of Jerusalem, and close to the borders of both Jordan and Egypt.
“Ryanair is pleased to announce our entry into the Israeli market from November 2015, our 31st country, with three new Eilat Ovda routes to Budapest, Kaunas and Krakow, which will deliver 40,000 customers annually,” said Ryanair chief commercial officer David O’Brien.
He added that the airline is continuing to negotiate with Israeli authorities and wants to further grow its route network to the country.