easyJet execs in Eilat to consider flights

easyJet

The offer of Israeli government subsidies is making the UK low-cost carrier rethink its previous rejection of Eilat as uneconomical, reports "Yediot Ahronot."

UK low-cost carrier EasyJet plc (LSE: EZJ) is seriously considering launching flights between Eilat and European destinations. "Yediot Ahronot" reports that EasyJet executives are currently in southern Israel to consider inaugurating flights between the Red Sea resort and Europe.

In the first stage flights would land at Ovda and then at the new Ramon Airport, at Timna north of Eilat. The easyJet executives are in Israel in response to the urgings of Tourism Ministry director general Amir Halevy who met representatives of the low-cost carrier in London last November.

easyJet has in the past rejected the idea of Eilat flights as uneconomical but they are now prepared to revisit their decision, reports "Yediot Ahronot," in the light of the financial incentives being offered by the Israeli government - €45 subsidy for each tourist that airlines fly to Eilat.

easyJet has clearly been influenced by the success of Ryanair, which started flying to Ovda in 2015 and last week announced that it is tripling the number of routes it operates to the southern airport from 4 to 12.

easyJet currently flies to 9 different European destinations from Ben Gurion Airport near Tel aviv, including Berlin, Geneva, Paris, London's Luton and Gatwick, and Manchester. In 2016, easyJet flew 720,000 passengers to and from Ben Gurion airport, 13.5% more than in 2015, making it the third largest company using the airport in terms of passengers carried.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 6, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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