EL AL Calls for Fair Competition Following Air India Announcement
Written by Yona Schnitzer/TPS on March 08, 2018
A day after Air India confirmed that it would be operating a direct route to Tel Aviv flying over Saudi Arabia’s airspace and thus significantly shortening travel time between the two countries, El Al Airlines issued a notice to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Thursday, in which the company said that it is being subjected to unfair competition and had turned to Israeli and international bodies to call for equal flight rights.
“Yesterday, March 7th, 2018, Air India began selling tickets for direct Israel-India flights, which will commence on March 22nd, 2018, and will make use of a route which flies over countries that Israeli airlines, El Al included, are barred from flying over,” read El Al’s notice. “We estimate that this precedent, which grants the foreign airline a significant advantage, and thus prevents fair and equal competition, especially if the state should allow other foreign airline companies to make use of such shortened routes, will harm the company to an extent which we cannot quantify at this point.
“The company approached the state, as well as various international official bodies, and asked that reciprocity be taken into account when granting approval for flights and routes, namely, allowing the company to fly to India using the short route, or alternatively, compelling the foreign companies to fly via the route approved for Israeli companies.”
Last week, El Al has issued a request to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), to intervene to gain Israeli airlines access to Saudi airspace.