Foreign Airlines to Resume Flights to Israel
Many international airlines temporarily ceased operations in Israel following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks. Now some of these airlines have resumed scheduled flights to the country.
Traveling to Israel in 2024
After the October 7 Hamas attacks, many European airlines temporarily canceled flights to Israel over security concerns. Lufthansa, British Airways, and Delta Air Lines were among these airlines.
All flights to Israel were left in the hands of Israeli carriers, El Al, Arkia, and Israir. These airlines became necessary air bridges connecting Israel to Asia, Europe, and North America.
El Al, on its part, has delivered more than 13,000 tons of cargo at this difficult time, demonstrating its commitment to maintaining the flow of logistics.
Israeli carriers remained the only airlines flying to Israel until late November. Then flyDubai, Ethiopian carriers, Etihad Airways, Red Wings, Azimuth Airlines, and Uzbekistan Airways joined and restarted flights to Israel. There were only 498 weekly departures from Ben Gurion International Airport by mid-December, down 66.4% from September levels, even with new airlines on board.
Experience the Holy Land
Which airlines are scheduling flights to Israel in 2024?
4 months after the start of the war, things are starting to improve for the Israeli travel sector. The Lufthansa Group became the first major airline to restart flights (on January 9) to Israel since the war began.
Lufthansa and other partially owned European airlines make up the German-controlled Lufthansa group. Two of their subsidiaries, Austrian Airlines, and Swiss International Airlines, have begun scheduling flights to Israel.
Lufthansa announced it will provide 20 weekly connections to and from Tel Aviv. Austrian Airlines will provide eight weekly flights to Vienna, Swiss Airlines will operate five weekly flights to Zurich, and Lufthansa has planned four weekly flights to Frankfurt and three weekly flights to Munich. This represents about one-third of the group's typical flying schedule when these services are resumed.
Aegean Airlines, located in Athens, and Tarom, based in Bucharest, have also started scheduling flights to Israel again. Nine international airlines, including Air France, Air Europa, Vueling (Spain), Transavia (France), Bulgaria Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Blue Bird (Czech Republic), Azerbaijan Airlines, and TUS Airways (Cyprus), have either begun scheduling flights to Israel or have plans to resume scheduled flights to Israel.
Other airlines like Finnair, KLM, Ryanair, Turkish Airlines, and Pegasus have also scheduled flights to and from Israel (apart from Tel Aviv) in February. Virgin Atlantic, a British airline, will begin operating one daily flight between London and Tel Aviv on March 17. The UK-based airline plans to start flying again on the London-Tel Aviv route on March 17.
It is of note, however, that not all airlines have resumed scheduling flights to Israel. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and British Airways are among these.
What you should know about traveling to Israel in 2024
Israel's weather patterns
Israel's weather is sometimes comparable to Florida's and southern California's moderate climates. Officially, January in Tel Aviv, Israel, is considered midwinter. However, despite the high likelihood of rain during the month, temperatures are still rather warm by most measures: ten wet days on average. In January, the average high temperature in Tel Aviv is 17.5°C, while the average low temperature is 12.9°C.
February is one of the year's colder months, with an average high temperature of 17.7°C, low temperature of 9.8°C and average temperature of 13.4°C.
Much like January, February temperatures can be significantly high. The record high for Tel Aviv was 33.2°C, while the record low was -2°C. It is rare for nighttime temperatures to drop below 7.3°C. February is also the third-rainiest month in Tel Aviv throughout the year, with an average of about 13 wet days.
Passports must remain valid for six months after the visitor's intended stay. After their arrival, visitors are permitted to remain in the nation for a period of three months.
Citizens of the US and Canada can visit Israel without a visa, provided their passport is valid for at least six months after the intended length of stay. Travelers from most European nations, Mexico, South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and others also don't require visas to visit Israel. Contact the Israeli consulate in your country to learn about the travel requirements for other nationalities.
Other things to keep in mind
Be sure to safekeep the separate stamped slip you receive at the Israeli Passport Control when you enter Israel. This is your official admittance into the country and acts as an official ID. It is also necessary when renting a car and checking into hotels.
Some essentials for when you want to travel to Israel in 2024
It can be helpful to bring the following along:
- a scarf (for head and shoulders)
- comfy shoes or sneakers
- first-aid kit
- sewing kit
- bathing suit
- casual clothing or formal clothing (depending on the purpose of your trip)
- lightweight or heavy clothing, depending on season.
- tote-bag for day trips
- rubber shoes for the dead sea or red sea
- swimwear, sunglasses, sunhat
- raincoats and rain boots
- travel documents
Summer attire should be extremely airy and comfy, ideally drip-dry for daytime use. A sweater is helpful in the evenings, even in the middle of summer, in the mountains (Jerusalem, Safed, and Upper Galilee) and deserts.
Light jackets, jumpers, suits, and airy shirts are appropriate for the in-between seasons. Using layers and peeling as the weather changes is the key to dressing this time of year.
For winter, you will need a thick or woolen suit, warm shoes, boots, cap, sweater, raincoat, and a warm coat. If your trip takes you to Eilat near the Dead Sea or Red Sea, you should pack lighter clothes and bring a swimsuit.
If you’re going to holy sites, it’s recommended that you wear appropriate clothing — no shorts or sleeveless blouses for women and no shorts above the knee for men.
Are tours operating in Israel now?
When traveling to Israel in 2024, consider choosing a package tour, where you will be accompanied by a guide throughout your trip. Groups like Sar-El Tours and Conferences operate such group tours.
Sar-El Tours & Conferences has been Israel's leading tourism agency for nearly 30 years, providing impeccable travel services for Christian pilgrims and tourists worldwide. Specializing in faith journeys focused on biblical themes, we provide comprehensive A to Z services from planning to operating every aspect of your trip. Our company also operates business excursions, professional delegations, conferences, and conventions in Israel and regionally.
With a solid faith-based and professional executive team, Sar-El Tours is known worldwide for its impeccable service and commitment to customer satisfaction. Our team will work with you to customize a perfect itinerary that will match your expectations and budget, placing our experience, commitment, size, and cost-effective solutions at your service. Our services include budget to luxury tours, theme-specific tours, faith pilgrimages, and bible study tours.
Reach out to us, and we will put you in touch with a local travel agent to coordinate your group tour.
Is it safe to travel to Israel in 2024?
The Hamas-Israel war is ongoing but the fighting is primarily in the Gaza strip, making it quite safe to travel to Israel. Moreover, tour providers can reroute trips based on changes on the ground. With Sar-El Tours & Conferences, for example, your safety while touring is always guaranteed.
Sites that are safe to visit
The 4 holy cities
Israeli cities to visit include:
- Jerusalem: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and holds paramount importance in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, it is considered the holiest city and the site of the First and Second Temples. The Western Wall, a remnant of the Second Temple, is a sacred site for Jewish prayer. For Christians, Jerusalem is significant for its association with Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a key Christian pilgrimage site. The Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount are highly revered in Islam.
1 Kings 14:21
Now Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen from all the tribes of Israel to put His name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah...
Bethlehem is a city located about 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem. It holds significant religious and historical importance, particularly in Christianity. The city is prominently featured in the New Testament of the Bible, where it is described as the birthplace of Jesus. The Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke both mention Bethlehem as the town where Jesus was born in a manger. It is a major pilgrimage destination for Christians worldwide.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."
- Nazareth: Nazareth is a city in the northern part of Israel, in the Galilee region. It is the largest city in the Northern District and is known for its historical and religious significance. Nazareth is renowned as the hometown of Jesus Christ, where he is believed to have spent his childhood and youth. The Basilica of the Annunciation, one of the most important Christian sites, is located in Nazareth. It is built on the traditional site where the Angel Gabriel is said to have announced to Mary that she would conceive the Son of God. Apart from its religious importance, Nazareth has a rich cultural heritage with a mix of Jewish and Arab influences. The city attracts pilgrims, tourists, and scholars interested in exploring its historical and archaeological aspects.
And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
- The Sea of Galilee: The Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake Kinneret or Lake Tiberias, is a freshwater lake in northern Israel. It is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and an important geographic feature in the region. It is mentioned numerous times in the New Testament of the Bible, particularly in connection with the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Several miracles attributed to Jesus, such as walking on water and calming the storm, are said to have occurred on or near the Sea of Galilee.
And Jesus departed from thence and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there.
Although the security landscape in Israel is evolving, daily life is largely uninterrupted in the country. Many airlines have resumed flights to Israel, with more and more European carriers coming on board.
If you’re planning a trip to Israel in 2024, be sure to sign up with Sar-El Tours & Conferences. Our expert tour services let you discover the best of Israel. Reach out to us now to make your journey memorable.
What are some must-see sights in Israel?
Tel Aviv, the Sea of Galilee, and Jerusalem are but a few of them...