Israel: El Al returns Boeing 777s to its fleet to meet travel demand
'The return of the planes will make it possible to expand the flight schedule in the peak season'
Israel’s national carrier El Al announced on Sunday that it will return Boeing 777-200ER aircraft to service amid rising summer travel demand.
The airline sidelined six 777 planes in 2020 during the pandemic crisis. The aircraft with an average age of nearly two decades will now be returned to El Al’s fleet for flights to Bangkok, Phuket, Athens and Dubai, according to Reuters.
Those destinations are in demand as Israelis are heading for summer vacations after nearly two years of closed borders.
"The return of the planes will make it possible to expand the flight schedule in the peak season and even allow additional destinations," El Al was quoted as saying.
According to the company, the planes, some of which were used on cargo routes, have passed all tests needed to return to service.
Ben-Gurion Airport data showed that the number of passengers on El Al rose 151 percent this June compared to last year, with 1.6 million passengers having flown El Al over the first half of 2022.
However, the rise in travel demand led to scenes of chaos at Israel’s main international airport due to a major shortage of staff. As a result, the airport has been operating only at 50 percent of its capacity.