Israir seeks designated carrier status for US destinations

Arkia also wants designated status, after the government agreed to increase security subsidies.

Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd. has applied to the Ministry of Transport for designated carrier status to several destinations in Europe and the US.

Israir chairman Guy Rosen said that the desired destinations were London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Amsterdam, Rome, Budapest, Las Vegas, and Miami. He added that the airline filed the request after the Ministry of Transport announced that it would raise the government's participation in airlines' security costs, which would enable the government to abrogate its agreement with El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) that gave the airline exclusive designated carrier status on long haul routes.

Arkia Airlines Ltd. has also announced that it plans to apply for designated carrier status to Paris and other destinations.

Civil aviation sources doubt that these flights will ever be made. They say that operating scheduled flights involves a huge financial outlay, including the purchase of planes and the need to operate a full staff to handle the flights and market them in the local market. The sources doubt that the Israeli airlines have the wherewithal to do this.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 11, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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