Summer is just around the corner and that means the NBN Flights Department is gearing up for another jam-packed season of Aliyah. Thousands of people are packing bags, downsizing homes and planning goodbye/l’hitraot parties. 65% of all Aliyah happens during the summer which is a natural transition time for many. This also means there are people around the world looking forward to experiencing the emotions and excitement of the NBN charter flight – both here in Israel and watching our videos and webcasts overseas.

You know the videos I’m talking about – the laughing and crying families coming off the plane, waving their flags and kissing the ground (pro tip: take your backpack off before you kiss the tarmac!).

Photo credit: Shahar Azran

If you ever want a little boost of Zionism, watch this playlist of NBN flight arrivals.

So, as you get closer to your Aliyah date, you are probably trying to figure out the best flight option for you. You might assume that the charter is the best flight (it is certainly the one that gets the most attention), but the truth is, most Olim come on individual EL AL flights!

Let’s break down the options to find the best flight for you.

CHARTER FLIGHT

The NBN charter is the iconic way to make Aliyah – coming home on a plane full of Olim is a unique experience.

Pros:

  • A once-in-a-lifetime experience to arrive in Israel accompanied by 250 other Olim!
  • Greeted by thousands of guests and dignitaries with a ceremony at the airport.
  • Your Aliyah experience will be broadcast around the world.

Cons:

  • No flexibility on dates.
  • The arrival ceremony and processing means you are spending extra time at the airport.
  • Need to make another appointment get your biometric Teudat Zehut.
  • It is a really popular option – this summer’s charter is already almost fully booked!

GROUP FLIGHTS

Offered throughout the year, a Nefesh B’Nefesh staff member accompanies a group of (40 to 80) Olim on a regular EL AL flight and through the government processing at the airport.

Pros:

  • Best processing service (especially if you have an Israeli parent or formerly had an A1 visa).
  • Flying with a cohort of Olim and celebrating your arrival together.
  • NBN staff is hanging around to schlep bags and answer questions.

Cons:

  • Most flights leave from the New York area airports.
  • Dates might not work out with your schedule.

DESIGNATED FLIGHTS

The widest variety of flight options, Olim can fly from any EL AL hub in North America and follow NBN instructions for government processing at the airport.

Pros:

  • Flexibility on flight dates – more dates from more locations.
  • Options for connecting flights with discounts for you and your luggage.

Cons:

  • May not be welcomed by a volunteer at the airport and need to go through the process alone (of course we send you the precise directions of what to do!)

What type of flight do you plan to take? Please reach out if you need any help deciding! aliyah@nbn.org.il