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Jet 2 jets to Israel

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2008-08-13 photo: Adrian Pingstone photo: Adrian Pingstone

Low cost flights to Israel from Manchester and Leeds Bradford airport look set to begin within the next 12 months from budget airline

The Leeds-based company, part of the aviation company Dart Group, has been in negotiations to get permission to fly to Israel for more than a year and has recently been approved a trademark for the name

A travel industry insider told SomethingJewish: "It's no secret that with Israel celebrating its 60th anniversatry this year and the city of Tel Aviv its 100th next year that airlines realise the value of offering more flights to Ben Gurion Airport."

The insider added: "As well as inbound traffic to the country, there is also much interest from Israelis in having more choice to come to the UK as it is a preferred European destination. It makes good business sense for more airlines to enter the UK to Israel route."

Over the last 12 months, the number of scheduled airlines flying to Israel has doubled with Thomson Fly and bmi joining El Al and British Airways in flying to the Jewish state.  Thomson Fly is the only airline offering regional flights from Manchester and Luton airport while the others fly form Heathrow.