The two airlines were due to begin flights using Atlasjet planes on June 20 abd to compete with Turkish Airways' 25 weekly flights
El Al Israel Airlines and Turkey's low-fare airline Atlasjet Airlines said last Tuesday they decided to suspend flights between Tel Aviv and Istanbul in the wake of Israel's raid of a Turkish-backed aid vessel bound for the Gaza Strip.
The two airlines were due to begin flights using Atlasjet planes on June 20.
The flights were to compete with Turkish Airways' 25 weekly flights. At present there is no Israeli carrier flying to Turkey.
Turkey is one of the most popular destinations for Israeli tourists. And tourism has gone up 18% this year after dropping off in the wake of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's criticism of Israel during a three-week offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza a year-and-a-half ago.
Local Israeli newspapers said that local trade unions, who regularly reward workers with trips abroad, were considering boycotting Turkey due to Ankara's role in organizing the aid flotilla. An El Al spokesman said El Al and Atlasjet hope to renew flights in the near future.