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Virgin boss Branson kisses the ground in Tel Aviv

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group
Sir Richard Branson (C), founder of Virgin Group

Sir Richard Branson kissed the ground at Tel Aviv airport on Wednesday as he inaugurated Virgin Atlantic's new UK to Israel route.

Deputy Director General of Israel's Tourism Ministry, Pini Shani, greeted Branson as he descended from the plane, with the British entrepreneur and billionaire walking towards the cockpit and kissing the ground. The Times of Israel reported that his actions came "apparently after being told by a local reporter that this was the custom upon arriving in the Holy Land".

The London-Tel Aviv route has been flying since 25 September. Virgin is looking to expand its business into Israel, with Virgin Holidays offering breaks in Tel Aviv.

READ: UK MPs warn Israel is becoming an apartheid state

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