El Al Israel Airlines (LY, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion) is contemplating launching direct services from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion to Australia and plans to operate test flights to Melbourne Tullamarine in the second quarter of 2020, the Israeli flag carrier said in a statement to local media.

Flights will operate onboard B787-9 aircraft.

There are currently no direct flights between Israel and Australia, the ch-aviation schedules module shows.

El Al would not be able to use the shortest route to Australia as it is banned from overflying Saudi Arabia. The carrier's Asian long-haul services to Mumbai International and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi are operating via a southern route - over the Red Sea and south of Saudi Arabia - while services to Hong Kong International and Beijing Capital use a northern route over Turkey and Central Asia, bypassing Iran.

In addition to test flights to Australia, the Israeli flag carrier plans to launch flights to Chicago O'Hare, Dublin International, Tokyo Narita, and Düsseldorf in 2020.

In its quarterly earnings release, El Al also said that it will lease three additional B737-800s for a period of six years. The first of these three is due to deliver in December 2019 and the other two in April 2020.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, El Al currently operates fifteen B737-800s, eight B737-900(ER)s, six B777-200(ER)s, and twelve B787-9s.