It is becoming the norm that in those parts of the World where low cost airlines have made little inroads so far, the incumbent airline is taking the preventive step of launching its own low cost carrier...We have seen it in Russia with Aeroflot's Dobrolet and now in Israel, where national carrier EL AL is launching "UP" its own low cost subsidiary.
The new airline will start operating in March 2014 to five destinations: Berlin, Kiev, Budapest Prague and Larnaca with Boeing 737-800s.
It seems there is going to be a certain degreee of hybridisation since passengers will be able to choose between two classes of service and two types of fares too, following the known recipe of a basic fare (called UP Basic) and a premium one (called UP Smart) that includes a number of extra services such as choice of seat or checked-in baggage. By the way, EL AL Matmid Frequent Flyer Club members will also be able to earn and redeem miles, although at a reduced rate than in the mainline operation.
For those curious to know more about it, UP's website is already "up" and running!