Tel Aviv Air, A New German Airline Flying To Israel

Tel Aviv Air, A New German Airline Flying To Israel

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There’s a new airline planning on launching operations in a couple of months, and tickets are expected to go on sale soon.

Tel Aviv Air plans Hamburg to Tel Aviv flights

Tel Aviv Air is a new Hamburg-based airline that plans to launch flights to Tel Aviv as of September 19, 2021. The airline initially intends to operate the roughly 2,000 mile flight (~4.5 hours in each direction) twice weekly, and tickets should go on sale as of late July on Tel Aviv Air’s website.

Tel Aviv Air will operate this service with a Boeing 737-800, featuring 189 seats. The plane will include a premium economy section featuring 14 seats (including blocked middle seats), and then the rest of the plane will be in a standard configuration.

When operations launch, Tel Aviv Air will be operating with a 737 leased from Enter Air, which is a Polish charter airline that operates a fleet of over two dozen aircraft.

Enter Air will be operating Tel Aviv Air’s flights

Who is behind Tel Aviv Air?

Tel Aviv Air was founded in late 2020 by Shlomo Almagor and Paul Scodellaro, who have both been in the travel industry for a long time. Almagor had a travel company focused on Israel, while Scodellaro was a sales manager for Germania.

The two claim to know the country, the route, and the potential customers very well. The target for this route are business travelers, tourists, and travel groups (so basically everyone). The company claims that the catchment area for the flight includes nearly 12 million people in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and Bremen. It’s also mentioned that around 6,000 people of Jewish faith live in the north German communities, and that they’re an important target for trips to friends and relatives.

The company has financial backing — Beteiligungsgesellschaft Hamburg GmbH (BTG) is involved as a silent partner, and the financing model is secured by Bürgschaftsgemeinschaft Hamburg GmbH (BG). 

Tel Aviv Air’s surprising revenue goals

Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but in the first full financial year, Tel Aviv Air expects sales of nine million Euros. I hope the airline is planning on increasing frequencies significantly, because that seems highly unrealistic to me with twice weekly flights:

  • With twice weekly service the airline would operate a total of 208 flights (104 flights in each direction)
  • That’s roughly ~43K Euros of revenue per flight per direction
  • That’s like selling the plane to 100% capacity with average fares of ~229EUR per person per direction, which is totally unrealistic
  • As a point of comparison, you can fly ultra low cost carriers roundtrip between Germany and Israel for under 100 Euros, or you can fly full service airlines roundtrip for 200-300 Euros

I hope the airline plans to increase frequencies significantly, and/or has some amazing cargo contract, because otherwise that kind of revenue is not going to happen.

Enter Air’s revenue goals seem ambitious

The problem with one route European airlines

Clearly the people behind the airline see potential for the route between Hamburg and Tel Aviv, which is fair enough. Maybe there is demand — I haven’t dug into the numbers. The route doesn’t currently have any service — meanwhile between Berlin and Tel Aviv you have competition from EasyJet, EL AL, and Israir.

Even so, I don’t really get the concept of these one route airlines in Europe for one simple reason. A European ultra low cost carrier could launch this route if it saw sufficient demand, and it could do so with a significantly better cost structure.

If an airline like EasyJet or Wizz Air decided to launch this route, I’d have to imagine it’s game over for Tel Aviv Air. These airlines can make money selling tickets at a fraction of the cost, with better name recognition and distribution capabilities.

Tel Aviv Air is in trouble if EasyJet launches a similar route

Bottom line

Tel Aviv Air is a new airline that plans to launch twice weekly flights between Hamburg and Tel Aviv as of September 2021. The airline will initially lease a 737 from Polish charter operator Enter Air to operate this flight, though perhaps in the long run will operate with its own plane.

I’m curious to see how this works out. I’m skeptical, for reasons explained above.

What do you make of Tel Aviv Air?

(Tip of the hat to @goren_uri)

Conversations (9)
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  1. Henry Guest

    Tel Aviv Air is only a socalled virtual airline. Enter Air is operating, being chartered by the travel organizer TAA.

  2. Bostonbali Guest

    Morgan - the capital of Israel is Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv.

  3. UpperDeckJohnny Guest

    Let the LCC's of the area try to undermine 2 huge German backers of a Germany based company.

    You'll see revenge tactics even worse than those tried on Brexit that will prevent any non German company running the route.

    Of course, I could be wrong about this.

    PS @Morgan: Tel Aviv was the former capital, Jerusalem now is

    1. Mike C Gold

      It is? As I understand it Jerusalem has always been the capital, since independence, although most countries do not recognise it as such. Those countries, if they recognise the State of Israel at all, have their embassies in Tel Aviv but they don't consider it to be the capital. You may be referring to US recognition of Jerusalem's status, but that's a change of US policy not a change of reality on the ground.

  4. Morgan Gold

    Odd that they are German based but named after the Israeli capital

    1. Paul Guest

      The Israeli Capital is Jerusalem

  5. Jerry Gold

    This airline is clearly going nowhere, but man, Beteiligungsgesellschaft is such a great word.

  6. Andy K Guest

    Having formerly lived in Hamburg, my first reaction was that I didn't think there was a huge Jewish community there. Upon reading further that there are only 6,000 Jews in the greater northern German area confirmed this.

    1. Paul Guest

      The Clientele will most certainly be tourists and not necessarily the Jewish community. More than half the tourists – some 56% – who visit Israel are Christian, with approximately 19% defining themselves as pilgrims. Forty-one percent of Christian visitors are Catholic, 27% Protestants and 28% Orthodox.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Henry Guest

Tel Aviv Air is only a socalled virtual airline. Enter Air is operating, being chartered by the travel organizer TAA.

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Paul Guest

The Israeli Capital is Jerusalem

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Paul Guest

The Clientele will most certainly be tourists and not necessarily the Jewish community. More than half the tourists – some 56% – who visit Israel are Christian, with approximately 19% defining themselves as pilgrims. Forty-one percent of Christian visitors are Catholic, 27% Protestants and 28% Orthodox.

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