Israel Travel Briefs

* El Al Israel Airlines has announced several moves to upgrade its fleet and level of service. Israel’s national airlines has acquired one state-of-the-art Boeing 747-400 aircraft for long-haul nonstop routes. The new planes are equipped with advanced sleeper seats and an improved video- on-demand entertainment system. Upgrades have also been completed on the El Al 747-400 jumbo aircraft and four of its 777 aircraft. The airlines has also purchased four new 777 extended-range Boeing planes for approximately $540 million, and it is now partnering with Israeli culinary brands such as Tnuva and Arcaffe in an effort to upgrade its kosher food offerings. Finally, El Al announced new nonstop service between Sao Paulo, Brazil and Tel Aviv, set to begin in the spring.

* El Al has been recognized by the International Air Transport Association as having the highest safety standards in the industry. The IATA is the umbrella group of airlines worldwide that determines operational standards. El Al also received a similar honor from Global Traveler Magazine. It was the second year in a row the airlines was honored for “Best Airline Security.” 

* Readers of Travel and Leisure magazine have again voted the King David Jerusalem, flagship of the Dan Hotels, as one of the world’s top 500 hotels.

*  The Inbal Jerusalem Hotel announced that it will soon complete renovations on a new spa, which will include a new fitness area with the latest equipment and treatment rooms for massages and facials. The spa is expected to open around Passover.

*  The David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem is offering a Passover holiday that features “Superior New City” rooms, six meals (including a seder) and Shabbat buffets. For information, visit

* The American Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is offering a Spring Mission focusing on the desert region’s archeological sites and the development that is taking place there. The trip, May 19-27,  includes stops at the Avdat archeological site, jeep tours of the Nabatean Spice Route as well as visits with area farmers and vintners. The mission will also take participants to area’s hit by Hamas rocket fire, including Sderot. Reservations must be made by March 24. For information, call (212) 687-7721 or 800-962-2248 or visit