Low-cost UK carrier easyJet plc (LSE:EZJ) has been dealt a major blow by the French Civil Aviation Authorities, which have rejected the company's application to begin three weekly flights between Ben Gurion Airport and Paris in the summer. The French Civil Aviation Authorities said that no new slots were available due to air traffic congestion.
easyJet told "Globes,"easyJet is very disappointed by the French Civil Aviation Authority's decision not to grant it any traffic rights to operate between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Tel Aviv in Israel from summer 2014."
Rubbing salt into easyJet's wounds are reports that El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) has been granted a slot for an extra and fourth daily flight between Ben Gurion Airport and Charles de Gaulle. There are also reports that Dutch low-cost carrier Transavia will begin three weekly flights between Tel Aviv and Paris Orly Airport in the summer.
easyJet added, "Considering its strong commercial position from Tel Aviv, easyJet believes it was best placed to help stimulate French tourism, while the other applicants have no presence and awareness on this route. easyJet brought the low-fare model to this market in 2009 and is today Israel’s second largest foreign airline."
easyJet said that in 2013 it flew more than 330,000 passengers to and from Tel Aviv, and now offers flights from 8 European destinations London Luton, London Gatwick, Manchester, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Milan, and Berlin.
easyJet said that it reserves its right to appeal the French Civil Aviation Authority's decision.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 15, 2014
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