Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd. is adoptinmg a low-cost model and plans to begin charging for baggage. The company will conduct a pilot on its route to Bucharest, starting on February 18. From next week, a suitcase will cost $35 in each direction ordered in advance on the company website and $70 in each direction when the service is purchased during check-in at the airport. In accordance with current practices by airlines, those buying services in advance also pay less for choice of seating and early check-in. Passengers can board with up to eight kilograms of trolley luggage. This model is slated to gradually extend to all the airline's destinations by April.
Israir emphasizes that its policy reflects the company's transition to low-cost airline. Another service now offered for payment is advanced seating, which costs $15 for those ordering through the company website and $40 for a seat in the first row or near the exit. Some of Israir's flights take off from Terminal 1, which is used for low-cost airlines.
Israir VP sales and marketing Gil Stav said, "Israir gives its customers a vacation suitable to them in budget, date, destination, type of vacation, and what they want to pay for. We believe that switching to a service model that will enable customers to pay for what suits them and what they really need will generate real value for them, and enable them to select the most worthwhile vacation."
The switch to a model with separate payment for services is becoming more and more common among airlines. The downtrend in prices and competition, combined with fuel prices, is forcing the airlines to find sources of revenue in addition to the ticket price, for example by charging for luggage and food.
"Globes" earlier reported that Germania Airlines, which is in financial difficulties, was offering flights with full service, including baggage and food, for as little as €70-80 per direction between Tel Aviv and Berlin. Judging by Israir's warnings and the prevailing market practice, fewer and fewer airlines will be able to afford to charge lower prices without charging extra for additional services.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 9, 2019
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