New low-cost Israeli airline?

Published: January 6th 2011
in News » Israel

Landing aircraft

The new airline will go by the name of "Jet Israel" and the initiative has been brought forward by Edward Winter, easyJet's former chief operating officer and a trained pilot. He believes he can spark an aviation revolution in Israel, similar to what easyJet has done in Europe.


The new airline would only run low-cost flights to and from Israel, which would cause some stiff competition for other airlines operating in and out of the country.


Winter met recently with Israeli aviation officials and Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov to discuss the initiative, and the minister said at a press conference that he is open to the idea of new flight options for the country.


"We need a real low-cost company with truly cheap prices," said Misezhnikov. "We are formulizing ideas to operate low-cost companies that fly directly to Israel and are examining the subject with Israeli and foreign airline companies."


Misezhnikov and the Tourism Ministry has already drafted financial models for the new airline and consulted the Finance Ministry officials about a safety net, which is estimated to reach approximately NIS 100 million (about $28 million). Winter asked Israel to provide the safety net as part of the negotiations. Included in the negotiations is a proposition that Winter be entitled to financial compensation if Jet Israel books occupancy of between 70 and 90 per cent (he would not receive anything extra for bookings above the 90 per cent).


Winter's previous employer, easyJet, which is Europe's largest low-cost airline, has three return flight options to Israel from London, Geneva and Basel, but the company has not managed to offer as low of a ticket price for the routes as their initial target. Other low-cost European airlines such as Thomson Air have flown Israeli routes, but they have been temporary options.


In addition to aiming for cheap flights to and from Europe, Misezhnikov said his ministry is expanding the marketing of Israel to destinations such as India and South Korea, where large populations of Evangelical Christians live.

Related articles: (easyjet, airline, Israel)
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