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Israel awaits resumption of flights from Russia by fall

Air travel between Russia and Israel could be restored in the fall, representative office of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism in Moscow told Izvestia.

According to them, Israel will fully open its borders to all foreigners from mid-July, including Russians, but flights from Russia are not possible before September.

The Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv did not give exact dates for resuming flights, noting that the decision depends on the pandemic situation. Meanwhile, the Russian Union of Travel Industry told the newspaper that Israel will continue to be a popular destination among Russians.

“We will look forward to a decision regarding the date of opening of Russia’s borders for cross-border tourism. We hope that by fall, air traffic between our countries will be restored,” Director of the Department of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism in Russia and the CIS, advisor to the Israeli embassy in Moscow Vladimir Shklyar told Izvestia.

At the same time, the Russian Embassy in Israel noted that restrictions on foreigners entering Israel are valid until June 15 and can be extended. “Decisions are made by the country’s authorities based on the current epidemiological situation. We believe that the aviation and tourism industries will recover as soon as a decision is made to remove all restrictions on flights between Russia and Israel, as well as on the movement of citizens,” the embassy told Izvestia.

According to Vice President of the Russian Union of Travel Industry Yury Barzykin, the coronavirus crisis will not affect tourist interests in Israel. “I think they will open in the fall. Russians, of course, will fly there, because the country offers diversified recreation — medical, historical-cultural, and pilgrimage. In addition, no visas, convenient logistics. However, the country is more expensive than Turkey and is not comparable with it in terms of tourist flow,” the expert told Izvestia.