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International aviation: Israel

A Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement between the European Union and Israel was signed on 10 June 2013.

 

With this comprehensive agreement, all EU airlines will be able to operate direct flights to Israel from anywhere in the EU and Israeli carriers will be able to operate flights to airports throughout the EU. The EU-Israel air transport market will be opened gradually over the next five years so that by 2018, the market will be fully open with no restrictions on the number of flights.

Based on the experience of similar agreements signed with other EU neighbouring countries, the gradual opening of the market is expected to encourage a larger number of direct flights from Israel to more destinations in Europe at lower prices than today while also reducing flight prices to Israel for European travellers. Higher volumes of tourism in both directions are expected to create additional jobs and economic benefits on both sides. The gradual implementation of the agreement will give sufficient time for carriers on both sides to prepare for increased competition.

In parallel to gradually opening up the respective markets, the agreement also aims to integrate Israel into a wider Common Aviation Area with the EU. Israel will implement regulatory requirements and standards equivalent to EU aviation rules in areas such as aviation safety, environment, consumer protection, including passenger rights, air traffic management, economic regulation, competition issues and social aspects.

A "horizontal" air transport agreement was already signed with Israel on 9 December 2008. This agreement brought all existing bilateral air service agreements between EU Member States and Israel in line with EU law.