Turkish Airlines has reduced the number of its weekly flights to and from Israel by almost half as a result of the decreased tourism in the wake of the Gaza flotilla raid, TheMarker learned on Sunday.
Until now, Turkish Airlines has sent five or six flights daily to Ben Gurion International Airport. Under the new arrangement, only two to three flights will be available every day.
Most Israelis who travel with Turkish Airlines are en route to other European destinations, mostly in Eastern Europe and North America.
Since Israel's deadly May 31 raid on the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, Israeli tourism to the popular vacation spot has drastically decreased.
For years, Turkey has been one of the most popular Israeli tourist destinations. However, the Israeli raid led to a severe strain in the once-close ties between Turkey and Israel, and the tourist industry has suffered a heavy blow.
According to Israel's Airports Authority, some 107,000 Israelis flew with Turkish Airlines between January and May 2010 – compared to 153,000 during the same period last year. The authority estimates its record of tourist traffic in June 2010 will show a drop of another 10 percent.
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