Icelandic low-cost airline WOW Air, which announced some time ago that it would begin operating flights to Israel, today announced the beginning of these flights on the occasion of founder and CEO Skuli Mogensen's visit to Israel. Mogensen has twice been named Man of the Year in Iceland, in view of his business success and trailblazing launching of low-cost trans-Atlantic flights from Iceland capital Reykjavik to various destinations. Israeli tourists will be able to continue from Reykjavik to the US on connection flights.
Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz, who attended today's press conference, wished Mogensen success in competing in the Israeli market, and said he regarded the company's arrival in Israel as a special event. "Since the European Union is delaying approval of the agreement with the airline from Iceland, which is not an EU member, we decided to deal with them directly. The route to the US needs competition. Competition in flights to the US should be intensified. Competition will improve service and lower prices, so connection flights to the US are attractive. I expect stiffer competition to improve service, as happened on routes to other destinations. The open skies policy is good for Israel and its people. The fact that another good airline from another country is coming here bears a political, economic, and aviation message. 140 airlines are flying to Ben Gurion Airport. That is a big number. It expresses confidence in Israel and its strength. I congratulate the Ministry of Tourism for its involvement, because it is also important to encourage tourists to come. Following this, I expect tourists to come here from Iceland and other places. It is five years since the open skies agreement, and it can be said that it is a global success, not just an Israeli one. It has increased competition, lowered prices, and allowed Israeli airlines to compete fairly."
Mogensen thanked Katz for his support and the warm reception he received in Israel. "As Paulo Coelho said, 'Impossible is just an opinion.' When we founded the company five years ago, I never imagined that we'd come to Israel. I've dreamed of visiting here since I was a child. Our mission is to enable everyone to fly by offering the cheapest prices in Tel Aviv: from $99 to Iceland and $149 from Tel Aviv to New York, Boston, and Montreal. No one has ever offered such cheap prices to North America, and we're proud to bring competition to Israel. I hope it enables people to visit here, and that it will help Israelis to travel."
It should be pointed out that the quoted fares do not include a luggage allowance, and that it will cost an extra $40-50 to take a suitcase. The fares are also starting prices, and the actual fare will vary according to the date of the flight.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on May 15, 2017
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