On Thursday, British Airways held a celebratory press conference marking the 85th anniversary of its London-Tel Aviv route. The airline’s CEO praised Israel as one of British Airways’ “most important destinations.”

British Airways 787 Dreamliner

British Airways 787 Dreamliner Photo Credit: British Airways

British Airways, the largest airline in the UK, marked this week 85 years of service between London and Israel. In honor of the occasion, British Airways held an anniversary press conference and produced a celebratory video clip that explains the “long and proud” history of the airline’s connection to the land of Israel.

“The State of Israel has been one of our most important destinations in British Airways’ history,” Alex Cruz, British Airways global chairman and CEO, said at the press conference in Tel Aviv today (Thursday). “In 1932, flights by Imperial Airways, which later became British Airways, were operated by Scipio S17, which landed on the waters of the Sea of Galilee, and passengers were taken ashore by boats.”

British Airways currently operates 14 weekly flights between Tel Aviv and London. 150,000 British Airways customers fly between the two destinations each year.

Watch: British Airways celebrates 85 years of service between Israel and London

“Israeli passengers can relax in the comfort of our seats and let us take them from Tel Aviv to London or to any one of the more than 200 destinations British Airways flies to around the world,” Yael Katan, British Airways’ commercial manager in Israel, stated.