Türkiye and Israel signed a bilateral aviation agreement today, the first aviation deal between the two countries since 1951. 

According to the Israeli Transportation Ministry, the agreement is pivotal in allowing Israeli carriers to fly to various destinations in Türkiye. 

A historic agreement  

This agreement is pivotal because it is the first to be signed between the two Middle Eastern countries since 1951.

It sees the two countries expand bilateral airline traffic. 

The Israeli Transportation Ministry, in a statement, said:

“The agreement is expected to result in the resumption of flights by Israeli companies to a variety of destinations in Turkey, alongside flights by Turkish companies to Israel. 

The agreement also benefits both countries as Türkiye continues to remain a popular holiday destination for Israel-based tourists, regardless of security scares. Only last month, the Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid issued a travel warning to all Israel citizens planning to travel to Istanbul after reports of an attack on Israelis in Türkiye. 

Regardless of tensions between the two countries, the heads of each country’s civil aviation authorities signed the preliminary agreement today. 

The signing of the full agreement is expected to take place later this year. 

El Al’s struggles

Elsewhere, El Al Airlines, Israel’s flag carrier, has been wrestling with a dispute between its management and its pilots. Ahead of a meeting in court regarding the matter this Sunday, talks are taking place between El Al’s management and the pilots committee to come to an agreement that will ensure industrial action does not take place and cause flight cancellations in today’s already testing times within the industry.

El Al aircraft
El Al launched in September 1948 and owns a total fleet size of 44 aircraft. | © Flickr / Caribb

El Al has already faced some repercussions from this dispute – on 3 July the carrier cancelled 5% of its scheduled flights and over recent weeks, the Israeli carrier had been cancelling 3-5 flights a day.

What do you make of this historic signing? Let us know in the comments below. 

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