VIDEO - Israel
will resume regular flights to Turkey this summer after more than five years, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz announced Wednesday.
An agreement signed Tuesday in Ankara by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director Giora Romm and his Turkish counterpart, Bilal Eksi allows Israeli airlines to resume flights to Turkey, following talks between the two countries' aviation authorities in the past few months.
"The Turkish authorities accepted the Israeli security demands, and Israel received satisfactory answers and solutions for all the security issues it raised during the talks," the minister said in a statement.
Romm said Israeli airlines will be able to fly to Turkey as of the summer of 2014. The Civil Aviation Authority plans to allow all Israeli companies to operate flights to Turkey.
The CAA director noted that the talks had been held in a businesslike and friendly atmosphere. He said that throughout the talks, the Turks expressed good will and readiness to resume Israeli airlines' flights to Turkey.
Following the agreement, Israeli airlines will be able to operate regular and charter flights to Turkey without any limitations. Turkish airlines currently operate more than 60 weekly flights to Israel and have carried more than one million passengers between the countries this past year.
Arkia CEO Gadi Tepper said, "We would like to thank Giora Romm and the CAA team for the efforts they invested in the talks with the aviation authorities in Turkey, and we hope that in the upcoming season Arkia will be allowed to operate flights to Turkey without any restriction on activity hours."