Israel and Turkey will expand bilateral airline traffic under a new aviation deal to be signed on Thursday, the countries' first since 1951, the Transportation Ministry 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 ministry said in a statement.
"Aviation relations are a strategic tool for Israel’s economic development and for maintaining Israel’s regional position,” Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli said. "We will continue to strengthen and promote economic and strategic relations between Israel and the countries of the region.”
This new agreement comes just days after Israel’s economic office in Istanbul announced it will resume operations on August 1 after its activities in Turkey were cut drastically in the summer of 2019.
The resumption of operations of Jerusalem's economic attachés in Istanbul will affect some 1,540 Israeli companies currently exporting to the Turkish market and help strengthen their business activity in this lucrative market. Turkey is the fourth most important trading partner for the Israeli economy and was the fifth most important export destination in 2021.
The relations between Israel and Turkey have soured in recent years as Erdoğan and his Islamist ruling party have drawn the country closer to the Muslim Brotherhood and espoused anti-Israel rhetoric.
However, a series of high-profile meetings between Israeli and Turkish officials in recent have seen bilateral ties on the mend.