is offering Israelis a round-trip ticket to Istanbul next month for just €100 ($131).
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's
to his Turkish counterpart earlier this year may have encouraged Israelis to return to the land of "all-inclusive" resorts following a long boycott,
but it seems that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's
new harsh statements against Israel
have resulted in renewed attempts to lure the Israeli audience.
The bargain prices offered by Turkish Airlines start at $131.17 for a round-trip ticket, including taxes. These tickets are non-refundable and non-changeable. The prices of more flexible plane tickets start at $211. Tickets which are not subject to any limitations will be offered for $491 for a round trip.
Starting next month, the Turkish airline will add seven additional weekly flights on the Tel Aviv-Istanbul route, maintaining its position as the largest foreign airline operating in Israel.
The company currently operates 39 weekly flights between Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport and the Atatürk Airport, located on the western (European) side of Istanbul.
Only $131 and you're in Istanbul (Photo: Amnon Kfir)
The airline's seven new flights will land at the Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, located on the Asian side of Istanbul. It is smaller than the Atatürk Airport, but the company's representatives in Israel say it also offers connecting flights to different destinations in Europe, including Munich, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris, Vienna and London.
The new flights will begin on October 28 with the start of the winter season. The flight from Tel Aviv will leave at 7:40 am and the flight from Turkey will depart at 9:50 pm.
Turkish Airlines representatives noted that passengers wishing to fly to the Sabiha Airport and then take a connecting flight from the Atatürk Airport must take into account a journey of up to five hours between the two airports.
In recent months, Turkish Airlines has secured its position as one of the largest foreign airlines operating in Israel, and the addition of seven weekly flights puts the company in the first place as the biggest foreign airline in the country.
The Turkish company has a market share of more than 4.5% of all passengers flying from and to Israel. In July, it made it to the first place among foreign airlines operating in Israel with close to 51,000 passengers and a 56% growth from July 2012.
Since the beginning of the year, the company has carried 295,850 passengers and presented a 50% growth from January-July 2012. The next companies in line are United Airlines with some 212,000 passengers and Lufthansa with 208,000 travelers.
It should also be noted that during Israeli tourists' boycott against Turkey,
they still continued flying with Turkish Airlines thanks to the company's remarkable flight schedule and connecting flights to many destinations around the world for prices which are mostly cheaper than the majority of regular airlines operating in Israel.
The Turkish company has also been favored by Israeli passengers over other airlines thanks to its membership in the world's largest global airline alliance, Star.