plane - Nir Kafri - July 8 2011
A plane at Ben Gurion Airport, July 8, 2011. Photo by Nir Kafri
Text size

Low-cost airline EasyJet will not add flights to Israel because it has not received the preferential treatment it requested, said a senior aviation industry official.

Senior EasyJet executives visited Israel recently and requested a number of changes in their favor to make the airline's discount flights more economically viable, but they were turned down, said the source.

The Israel Airports Authority grants low-cost airlines certain breaks, such as a discount on various fees on their operations at Ben-Gurion International Airport's Terminal 1.

EasyJet flies daily from Tel Aviv to London, and has four weekly flights to Geneva and three to Basel. EasyJet is set to add another weekly flight to Basel in December.

The company was interested in adding more flights on existing routes, as well as adding more destinations in Europe. However, as a result of the IAA's refusal to meet its terms, the airline is not expected to add any additional flights.

EasyJet told the IAA that it has many more flights than other low-cost airlines and deserves bigger breaks. Sources say EasyJet chose not to confront IAA officials after their refusal.

EasyJet said it was interested in expanding its operations in Israel and developing a network of routes. "As of now, there is no change in the number of flights on the routes to or from Israel," an airline representative said.