Israel Signs Aviation Pact With Philippines, Permitting Regular Direct Flights

Replaces flight agreement dating back to 1951.

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Israel and the Philippines have signed a new aviation accord that will permit regularly scheduled direct flights between the two countries, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz announced on Tuesday. The agreement came as the Philippines was dealing with the impact of the massive devastation last week of Typhoon Haiyan.

In practice, the only Israeli airline that would be able to inaugurate service to the Philippines is El Al, as it is the only carrier here with the wide-bodied fleet with the necessary range to fly that distance. The pact will allow Israeli and Philippine carriers to fly up to 21 scheduled passenger flights per week between the two countries as well as three weekly cargo flights.

The agreement will also enable Israeli airlines to sell seats on connecting flights between Israel and the Philippines on Philippine or other foreign carriers through code-sharing arrangements in which the service is provided by other airlines but also assigned a flight number of an Israeli carrier.

The new aviation pact replaces one entered into between the two countries in 1951.

An El Al Boeing 737 plane.Credit: Haaretz Archive