Report: Israeli Airlines to Resume Flights to Turkey in Coming Weeks

By Hamodia Staff

Entrance area to Istanbul Airport. (Arne Müseler)

YERUSHALAYIM – Israeli flights between Israel and Turkey are likely to resume in the near term, fifteen years after a rift halted bilateral air travel, Ynet reported on Monday, quoting a senior Israeli official.

The official estimated that Israeli airlines will receive permission to land in Turkey within a few weeks.

The report follows the signing of a new mutual aviation agreement last month, after which details about security arrangements were left to be finalized, part of an ongoing rapprochement between the two countries.

In March 2007, El Al stopped its three weekly flights to Istanbul, explaining that the route “suffers from heavy security cost components and restrictions on current operations, resulting from the high standards associated with security sensitivities.”

The route remained open only to Turkish companies, led by aviation giant Turkish Airlines.

According to the official, the next step toward renormalization will be a return of ambassadors. Israel’s last ambassador to Turkey, Eitan Naeh, was expelled in May 2018 after he was required to undergo an invasive and embarrassing security check on his way to Israel.

In recent months, fence-mending has proceeded with friendly meetings and phone calls between President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Yair Lapid with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkish authorities also earned the public thanks of Israeli officials for their cooperation in thwarting recent terrorist plots against Israelis in Turkey.

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