Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight to Tel Aviv has taken off from London Heathrow.

Flight VS453 was due to depart at 9:20am with chief executive Shai Weiss and fellow members of the senior management team on board.

The five-hour daily route will provide more than 180,000 seats a year to the Israeli city’s Ben Gurion airport and is designed to provide links to US destinations via London.

It has been operated by an Airbus A330-300 since September 25, but the official inaugural flight has been arranged to showcase the new route on the carrier’s network.


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Agency and operator Virgin Holidays yesterday launched a range of seven hotels and five tours in Tel Aviv to coincide with the new route.

Joe Thompson, managing director of Virgin Holidays, said: “Tel Aviv is a fresh and exciting destination and we know that Virgin Holidays’ customers will enjoy exploring this cultural heartland, set against a bustling backdrop, full of rich heritage and thrilling innovation.

“From lively markets, fantastic food and endless cultural attractions when the sun is up, coupled with a vibrant nightlife scene when the sun sets, a holiday to Tel Aviv offers endless possibilities and we wholeheartedly welcome this eastern hotspot to our Virgin Holidays’ portfolio.”

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