Israel-EU agreement opens sky
A Lufthansa Airbus A320 takes off at Berlin Tegel Airport. From legacy carriers such as Lufthansa to low-cost carriers such as Great Britain’s easyJet, new flights to and from Israel are popping up all over the grid following the EU-Israel Open Skies agreement. (photo by Lasse Fuss vis Wikimedia Commons)
In the months since Israel and the European Union officially signed their Open Skies travel agreement, providing all European and Israeli airlines with equal opportunities to launch direct service to and from Tel Aviv, a slew of airlines are already hard at work trying to expand their offerings.
From legacy carriers including Lufthansa German Airlines to low-cost carriers such as Great Britain’s easyJet, new flights to and from Israel are popping up all over the grid. And Israeli airlines are also getting in on the action, with the country’s flagship carrier, El Al, announcing additional routes to Europe, as well as the launch of its own low-cost brand called Up, which was scheduled to begin service to European destinations this spring.
While the agreement does not come into full effect for all airlines until 2018, Mark Feldman, who has been in the travel business for more than 30 years and is currently chief executive officer of the Jerusalem-based travel agency Zion Tours, explained in an interview that, due to “a grandfather clause, an airline like easyJet, which already began its service from London to Tel Aviv four years ago, can already go ahead and expand.”