How do you fly from Tel Aviv to Cairo and back non-stop? Two airlines currently run this route: El Al and Air Sinai. El Al departs on Mondays at 1:10am and also returns on Mondays, arriving at 6:50am.
So Air Sinai, with convenient flights during the waking hours 5 days a week, is the practical option. Air Sinai flight 55 flies Thursday, Friday, Saturday Sunday and Mondays at 12pm from Ben Gurion Terminal 3, arriving Cairo at 12:10pm. The strange looking times are because Cairo is one hour earlier than Tel Aviv, and the flight takes one hour ten minutes. When looking at the departure board, Air Sinai is abbreviated “4D” – the way Delta is DL or American Airlines is AA. Air Sinai 54 flies Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Mondays at 9am from Cairo, arriving Ben Gurion at 11:10am.
Air Sinai only flies from Tel Aviv to Cairo and back, and is run by EgyptAir, For reasons easily found online (google “Air Sinai”) they don’t book through EgyptAir or through any of the online ticket sellers. So how do you buy tickets on Air Sinai? Various websites have talked about tracking down unsigned offices or shelling out exorbitant fees to highly specific travel agents. There is no need, however, to find hidden stores in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, or to pay more than the ticket cost. You can do much, if not all, of your Air Sinai ticket ordering directly with the company from the comfort of your easy chair. Here’s how:
Call Air Sinai at 03-510-2481. They will ask you to email them at email@example.com the following information: Name, Nationality, Date of Birth, Passport #, Expiration date, Your Email, Phone, Departing and returning dates. (Note: It seems to me you could just email them the above information without calling first, though I began with the call because I did not know.)
They then email you back with a reservation reference number, a price quote (currently $430 round trip), and information on how to deposit the money in their account. To pay them, you can deposit the money in the Air Sinai account at the Israel Discount Bank. Account info: Bank Branch 016. If you are depositing Israeli shekels, deposit them in account #61281158 If you are depositing U.S. dollars, deposit them in account #980013-310158. (Note: I went physically to a Discount Bank branch and deposited cash shekels, since I live in Jerusalem and there is a branch very near me. I bet, though, that you could do it online through a bank transfer, thus executing this whole process from your home.) Air Sinai then asks that you send them a copy of the receipt. (I took a picture of it and emailed it to them.)
They then will call you to say they received the ticket. (If they don’t, call them back.) They will then email you the e-tickets. Done! I have not yet flown, but will report when I do.