EasyJet Rep Tells TheMarker:Absence of Israel-EU Aviation Agreement Increases Flying Prices

A new aviation agreement between Israel and the European Commission would allow EasyJet to add flights to more destinations to and from Israel. It could start flying Paris, Rome and Madrid, EasrJet's international commercial manager Hugh Aitken told TheMarker - and prices would drop. But talks are not progressing apace.

Presently the potential to add destinations in Europe depends on talks between Israel and country in Europe.

A unified, multinational aviation agreement with the EU to replace the bilateral agreements would solve many of the problems and allow full competition - and lower prices.

Aitken says EasyJet plans to add a fourth weekly flight to Basel this coming winter season in an attempt to also attract business travelers.

The present negotiations with the EU over the new agreement ended in May with no breakthrough. At the end of the two days of meetings in Jerusalem, the details of when and how to implement such an Open skies agreement were still not settled.

The Europeans are demanding a quick implementation, for example within a year of signing. Israel would prefer gradual implementation over three to five years in an attempt to protect Israeli airlines form competition.

More talks were scheduled for this month, but no date has been set. The latest round of negotiations opened in Brussels in February, six months behind schedule and after three postponements.