All details will be decided after thorough reviewby the CAA. Arkia and Israir: adding a third airline will not create competition and depress prices
Minister of Transport Israel Katz gave last week El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. a permit to operate scheduled flights between Ben Gurion Airport and Eilat, alongside Arkia and Israir.
The minister adopted a recommendation from the Civil Aviation Authority,CAA, but qualified that all details, including the timetable, frequency of flights and any limitations on the number of seats that El Al may offer will be decided after thorough reviewby the CAA to ensure that "all parties are satisfied with the decision”.
Katz noted that the appointment of El Al as the third designated airline on the Eilat route should lower fares and help realize the potential demand on the route. Currently, the 20 scheduled daily flights on the Ben Gurion-Eilat route carry one million passengers a year.
The minister added that in parallel with granting El Al a permit to fly to Eilat, he would open more international destinations to competition, with the goal of allowing Arkia and Israir to expand their international operations in line with recommendationsby the Civil Aviation Authority, El Al said in a statement that it welcomed the recommendation by the Civil Aviation Authority director general and the decision by the minister of transport to appoint it a designated airline to Eilat, alongside Arkia and Israir. It added that the decisionto allow El Al to make scheduled domestic flights was good news for consumers in general and Eilat residents in particular.
"The permit will strengthen incoming tourism to Israel and domestic tourism. It will lead to the expected growth in tourism to Eilat and contribute toward improving current service and timetables."
Spokesmen for Arkia and Israir said that the route already suffers from overcapacity, and argue that adding a third airline will not create competition and depress prices.