The aviation authorities of Russia and Israel have signed a new aviation agreement to remove restrictions on routes between the two countries.
The new agreement allowing unlimited flights between the two countries with the exception of Moscow-Tel Aviv.
The agreement enables each country to operate up to 36 regular weekly flights on the Moscow-Tel Aviv route. On all other routes between Russia and Tel Aviv, there will be no restrictions on the number of carriers, flights or aircraft capacity.
On the other hand, on the Moscow-Tel Aviv route, aviation authorities agreed to add 15 weekly frequencies for each side and to permit second-designation carriers. Israel’s El Al and Russia’s Transaero now have the right to operate 21 weekly flights each. Aeroflot also gains the right to fly charters on a regular base. The agreement will come into effect once both countries finalize proper security measures for Israeli airlines in Russia
El Al has been operating direct regular flights to Moscow and St. Petersburg. On the Russian side, Transaero Airlines has been operating flights from Moscow to Ben-Gurion Airport, while Rossiya Airlines has been offering flights from St. Petersburg to Tel Aviv.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said that the agreement includes flights to Ben-Gurion International Airport and Ovda Airport near Eilat. He added that after visa requirements between Russia and Israel were abolished in 2008, the number of Russian tourists visiting Israel has grown dramatically from 365,000 in 2008 to 603,000 in 2013.