Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that low-cost airlines have led the growth in air traffic between Israel and the European Union since the two sides signed the Open Skies aviation agreement in Luxembourg, in 2013.
Under the agreement, any European airline can fly to Israel, and every Israeli carrier can go anywhere in the EU. The Open Skies agreement came into effect in April 2014, and is being implemented in stages over five years.
The CAA noted that the main growth engine for the increasing number of flight to EU destinations since the agreement was signed was due to low cost airlines.
Market share of low-cost airlines has grown to 8.8% last year from just 2.6% in 2012. Since Israel signed the Open Skies agreement, which gradually eliminates restrictions on the number of airlines operating on Israel-EU routes, in June 2013 the number of seats has grown by 9.5%.
That compared with just a 0.6% increase in the two years before the agreement. The number of passengers up by 11% in 2013 and by 6% in 2014.