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Canadian airlines welcome increased flights to Israel

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An Air Canada and an Air Transat jet sit on the tarmac in Montreal. (abdallahh/flickr/CC-BY-2.0)

Both Air Canada and Air Transat have hailed the agreement that will permit more flights between Canada and Israel.

The number of return flights designated airlines, such as those two carriers, can operate has been increased to 19 from 12 per week, under an agreement reached between Transport Minister Marc Garneau and his Israeli counterpart, Yisrael Katz, on Jan. 25.

“We congratulate the federal government for reaching an expanded air transport capacity arrangement with Israel. This deal will open up new development and growth possibilities for Canadian-based international carriers, such as Air Transat,” stated Jean-Marc Eustache, the company’s president and chief executive officer.

Air Transat launched a direct, non-stop Montreal to Tel Aviv route last year, operating twice weekly between June and October, which was the leisure airline’s first foray into the Middle East.

READ: CANADA SIGNS NEW AIR TRANSPORT AGREEMENT WITH ISRAEL

Building on that success, it will increase that to three flights per week this summer, starting May 23.

Air Canada’s president for passenger airlines, Benjamin Smith, said the company looks “forward to increasing our services to Tel Aviv. (The agreement) will enable us to offer more travel options to our customers.”

Air Canada has operated flights between Toronto and Israel since 1995. It currently offers a daily flight between Toronto and Tel Aviv that operates year-round. Last year, it started operating a twice-weekly seasonal flight from Montreal.

Smith said the flight from Montreal will resume in May and Air Canada is “planning” to increase flights to three times per week.