Hello again! After 3 days in Eilat and in the area, came the time to return to our home :)
Here's my experience with Israir on the flight back from Eilat to Tel Aviv on flight 6H 458. For those of you who didn't read my inbound flight FR, here's a link.
PHOTOS FROM EILAT AND THE AREA
THE REMAINS OF THE OLD AIRPORT IN EILAT (ETH AIRPORT)
The old airport runway was destroyed at least year ago, I visited in Eilat on April 2021 and the road between the two parts of the runway was already built. As I mentioned in my previous flight report, the old airport location was much better and much more convenient.
ARRIVING TO ETM AIRPORT
We arrived to ETM airport 1 hour and 15 minutes before our flight, as Israir requested. The old DC-3 that used to stand in Eilat airport also moved to the new airport:
The airport area was so empty that I could to stop in the middle of the road, take those pictures and continue. The airport's security car stopped near our rented car and asked us why we stopped, but they were ok with what I did :)
PRE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE - ETM AIRPORT
The entrance to the airport:
The security process was similar to the security process I experienced always in TLV airport. Security in Israel is tighter than the security in Europe.
Since the airport was pretty empty on this our (and I think it can handle much more flights), the security process was very fast.
The check in area:
We waited for the airline agents a couple of minutes, when they arrived, I heard them talking about how empty our flight will be and asked them for the number of passengers on our flight, they answered that out of 72 seats in the aircraft, only 17 will be occupied! Nice!
The airport was empty, as it was in our inbound flight:
Burgerim was close, but the daily branch was open. In fact, it was the only thing open on this area of the airport.
I checked the toilets near the check in area:
And as you can see, the toilets were clean and looked very good. Hopefully they'll be stay clean during the next years.
We came back to grab something to eat in the daily branch:
We bought 2 pasta with pesto salads, coca cola and soda and paid 95 ILS (27.5$ USD approximately) for them. The pasta salad was ok, but nothing special.
Look at this…
The shop shelves were empty, it's very sad to see the airport on such way.
We went to the security again, this time for body scan and hand baggage check. After this process, there were more shops and places to eat:
In the lower floor you can find 2 coffee shops (I don't know why, since both of them are Ilan's coffee), James Richardson shop (they sell snacks, chocolates, etc.), Jack Kuba (which was closed), Stimatsky (book shop), exchange (which was closed as well) and even a lounge!
Not too much when compering to TLV airport, but for domestic flight it's pretty good.
There were also vending machines:
The prices are reasonable for an airport. 6 ILS for water bottle, 7 ILS for Coca cola bottle.
I went to the toilets in the lower floor as well:
And as you can see, they were in very good condition and clean!
Boarding started on time and was very short (Do you remember? We were only 17 passengers on board).
Arkia with their EMB-195 (4X-EMF):
And our aircraft:
Aircraft information: Israir ATR 72-500 (72-212A) 4X-ATH In service with Israir since June 2011, making it almost 11 years old when I flew with it
FLIGHT EXPERIENCE - ETM TO TLV
We boarded the aircraft pretty fast. Am I mentioned the advantage of being a small group of passengers? :)
Cleaning could be better, but still, could be worse as well.
The legroom situation was good:
Please note that my bag taking a lot of space, so the legroom is even better than what you already see. The seat itself could be cleaner, as you can see in the picture there was a big stain on it.
The flight was so empty that even our robotic vacuum had it's own seat!
The aircraft pushed back at 8:45 pm and we took off around 8:50 pm, meaning 10 minutes earlier! ETM airport view:
Take off video (sorry for the bad quality, it was very dark outside and I did my best):
The seat belt sign remained on for all the flight, so there won't be a lavatory review on this flight report.
Our aircraft climbed to FL200, which was very high when comparing it to the inbound flight (FL130).
I tried my luck and talked with the flight attendants about visiting in the cockpit, they were very nice but said it's impossible to visit the flight deck of the ATR and I may try my luck again when I'll fly with Israir on their Airbus A320.
The tray table, which could be cleaner:The rest of the flight was uneventful, but the descent to TLV airport was a bit hard and not very pleasant.
The rest of the flight was uneventful, but the descent to TLV airport was a bit hard and not very pleasant.
I tried to took some photos during descent, but it wasn't easy, since it was night and the windows were dirty as well:
We landed on runway 21 with a time to spare. The original arrival time was 10 pm, we landed at 9:30 pm and the aircraft was taxied to N19 parking in TLV airport (near to terminal 1).
Fedex B757F in N15:
4X-ATI, the second ATR of Israir, parking in N18:
Cabin view during deboarding:
Bye bye 4X-ATH!
A bus waited for us and took us to a long journey in the airport, all the way to terminal 3:
I tried to took photos from the bus, it wasn't easy.
Another Fedex B757F:
Elal B777 (4X-ECF, the newest 777 in Elal's fleet), hopefully those birds will return to fly soon, after more than 2 years!
TLV AIRPORT - TERMINAL 3 (DOMESTIC FLIGHT AREA)
We arrived to terminal 3 after the long journey in the airport, this entrance to terminal 3 is separated from the international area, which skips over the passport control and the customs.
There was only one baggage carousel:
We waited 20-25 minutes for our luggage, which is almost the length of the flight!
After we received our luggage, we went to terminal 3 arrival flights area (which you probably saw in my previous flight reports, but this time the way to this area was longer):
Domestic flights in Canada: F8 1821 (YYZ-YYC) WS654 (YYC-YYZ)
I hope that you enjoyed and hope to see you again in my future flight reports!
Eilat - ETM
Tel Aviv - TLV
I'll take my conclusion from my last flight report, since it's mostly relevant, and make some relevant changes:
Israir fleet has changed since I flew with them in 2009. They have 2 ATR72 and 5 (soon 6) Airbus A320. The service on board was lacking, the crew didn't served even a cup of water (while Israir mentioned in their website that on flight from\to Eilat they'll serve a cup of water). Buy on board wasn't available but it's reasonable on this flight, since it's a short one. No IFE on board, but it's also reasonable since this aircraft used primarily for this route which is very short.
ETM airport was empty, but I think that it has a lot of potential. Maybe in the winter of 2023 we'll see more operation on this airport with international flights. The airport was easy to navigate, clean and well equipped for a domestic flights, and even for international flights it's not too bad, for sure better than some airports I visited in Europe. TLV airport wasn't efficient this time, we waited a lot of time to our luggage, probably it's related to the fact that TLV airport is missing a lot of workers after the corona virus, and hopefully it'll improve soon. Services were good as usual, as inbound passenger you have coffee shops, cellular agents, rental car companies, taxis and a rail station.
Even though I love to fly, I won't recommend to use the flights from Tel Aviv to Eilat, since with the combined time (driving to the airport, check in, security process, waiting in the terminal, the flight itself, the waiting for the baggage and the driving from the airport to Eilat) can be almost the same as driving from the central area in Israel to Eilat.
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Thanks for this report ;)
I find the Eilat new airport very convenient despite it has no jet bridge.
It is a chance for international flights was used to land at Ovda airport.
Strange they still call the airport Ben Gurion and not Tel Aviv.
And thakns for the info about the B777 LY, I didn't know it.
Really want to read your FR about Arkia A321N ! ;)
In my opinion, the old airport was located in much attractive location.
The new airport is better as airport, but it's location isn't attractive at all.
Yes, this airport built for international flights as well (as you can see in my photos), but due to the corona situation this airport didn't saw international flight for a long time.
Unfortunately, the Arkia flight will be operated by one of my least favorite airline - Smart wings with their Boeing 737-800.
This flight originally should be operated with the A321 Neo, but then they change it to a leased A320 from Electra airways, and 2 weeks ago I received a mail regarding changing my flight time (the take off time changed from 14:15 to 16:15) and the flight will be operated by Smart wings. :(
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