A new report by the Israel Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) in the Ministry of Transport states that the number of scheduled flights to and from Israel is expected to increase by 106 weekly flights during the 2014-2015 winter season.
According to the report, 24 of the 56 airlines operating scheduled flights to and from Israel are expected to increase their flights by 16% during the current winter, compared with the preceding winter. A third of the increase expected in total flights, and half of the expected increase in routes between Israel and EU countries, was due to implementation of the first part of the schedule for the gradual implementation of the open skies agreement, signed a year ago with the European Union, ICAA reported.
One of the more interesting findings in the report concerns the benefits that Israeli airlines will obtain from the open skies agreement, to which they strongly objected. According to the report, the volume of activity by El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL), Arkia Airlines Ltd., and Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd. is projected to increase. "Implementation of the regular flight schedule of El Al, Arkia, and Israir will make possible an aggregate 18% rise in the volume of flights by the three airlines, compared with their volume of flights last year," the report states. The report adds that El Al is expected to significantly increase the number of routes operated under the low-cost UP brand.
According to ICAA, the rate of increase in the aggregate number of flights by Israeli companies is 15% higher than the aggregate increase in the number of flights by foreign companies, which means that the downtrend in the relative market share of the Israeli carriers is not expected to continue. "The market share of the Israeli airlines is projected to reach 33% this winter, compared with 32% last winter," the report states.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 24, 2014
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